French defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, says France could start withdrawing its troops from Mali within a few weeks, handing over responsibility for security to an African force.
There are currently around 4,000 French troops in the West African country and Le Drian said this would not be increased.
On Wednesday French and Malian Troops fought Islamist Rebels in the Sahara, while joint patrols searched for insurgents in the scrubland surrounding the trading towns of Timbuktu and Gao.
Gao was hit by rockets fired from the bush on Tuesday, and some residents say they still do not feel safe.
“I don’t know what the army is doing,” said resident Adama Younes.
“If Gao is not protected for 50 kilometres around and if a MUJAO (Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa) fighter can set himself up just ten metres from here and fire things like this at us, what’s the use of the army being here?,” Younes continued.
With so few troops securing an area more than double the size of France, Paris has appealed for the swift deployment of a UN-backed African military force, but this has been slowed due to a lack of transport and equipment.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Who is the EU’s worst at spending Brussels’ billions?
- 2‘Allahu Akbar’ lone wolf attacker shot dead by French police
- 3New laws to ‘wipe out’ militants after Pakistan school massacre
- 4New “muzzle” law sparks protests across Spain
- 5Israel launches airstrike on Gaza in apparent retaliation for rocket attack
- 1Pakistanis protest against Taliban as army intensifies offensive in north-west
- 2Israel launches airstrike on Gaza in apparent retaliation for rocket attack
- 3Australian mother arrested after eight children stabbed to death
- 4Kyiv terror plot foiled, says Ukrainian security service
- 5Obama says Sony made a “mistake” in cancelling movie over cyber threats
- 1Rosetta team is euronews’ people of 2014
- 2Thailand’s Princess Srirasmi renounces royal status and will divorce
- 3Pakistanis protest against Taliban as army intensifies offensive in north-west
- 4Left-wing extremists run riot in upscale Zurich, Switzerland
- 5Australia: two hostages and gunman dead after police storm Sydney siege café
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Watch: Passengers ‘push-start’ frozen plane in Siberia | euronews, world news
- 3Le Pen: I admire ‘cool head’ Putin’s resistance to West’s new Cold War | euronews, interview
- 4Which countries in Europe cause the most air pollution damage? | euronews, world news
- 5McCain blasts Europe’s approach to Ukraine conflict ‘a joke’ | euronews, the global conversation
- 6Moldova pro-EU parties take narrow lead in elections | euronews, world news
- 7NATO joins search for ‘Russian submarine’ off Scottish coast | euronews, world news
- 8Ukraine reports accident at Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant | euronews, world news
- 9Grenoble: Europe’s first ad-free city | euronews, world news
- 10Crude awakening: Romania’s Black Sea oil and gas finds fuel Europe’s energy hopes | euronews, reporter
- 11European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 12The American Century comes to an end as China becomes the world’s largest economy | euronews, economy
- 13Irony as organised crime prosecutor arrested for corruption in Romania | euronews, world news
- 14Israeli warplanes hit targets in Syria | euronews, world news
- 15Germans demand honour for Turkish woman beaten to death | euronews, world news
- 16Obama’s ‘risky’ immigration gamble | euronews, world news
- 17Chechen ‘death’ unit fighting with rebels in eastern Ukraine | euronews, world news
- 18International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 19Belgium’s former queen Fabiola dies at 86 | euronews, world news
- 20Portugal: Ex-PM José Socrates held in corruption probe | euronews, world news
Wires > News
- 13:35 CET Egypt retires hardline intelligence chief
- 13:20 CET Tunisians vote in historic presidential run-off
- 12:44 CET South Korea prosecutors investigate data leak at nuclear power…
- 12:23 CET Romania parliament approves 2015 budget with IMF deficit target
- 12:03 CET North Korea denies hacking Sony
- 11:49 CET Egypt allows in travellers from Gaza for first time since October
- 11:07 CET Analysis – New leadership seeks to rebuild EU self-confidence
- 11:03 CET Gunman kills two New York police officers in possible revenge…