Security - In addition to helping the Malian government stamp its authority and control across the country, France will ensure that terrorism will be completely eliminated from the West African nation.
This indication was given here Saturday by the visiting French President, Francois Hollande, in a joint press conference with the Caretaker President of Mali, Dioncounda Traore, shortly after laying a wreath at the Independence Square in the heart of Bamako.
Hollande said that “even after chasing the terrorists away from Northern Mali (which is only a part of the fight to route them), France will ensure that terrorist activities no longer exist across Mali.'
He pledged that France will back the crisis-torn African country’s efforts towards economic recovery, pledging support to Mali in the fields of education, health and in rehabilitating the cultural sites destroyed by the militants.
The French leader said his visit was a milestone in his political career, acknowledging the serious risk he took in deciding to engage in military action in Mali in an attempt to help Bamako regain its territorial integrity.
He said that France was indebted to Mali, which alongside other African countries, contributed to the struggle against the Nazi occupation during the two World Wars.
Hollande, however, warned Malians, especially those living in the areas formerly occupied by the Jihadists, against engaging in abuses and retaliations.
In his comment, President Traore expressed Mali's gratitude to France and pledged that perpetrators of the ongoing violence in Mali would be held accountable.
“Thank you Mr. President,' Traore repeatedly told Hollande in the presence of several hundreds of Malians who expressed their joy chanting pro-France slogans.
After his short stay in Bamako, Hollande went on to visit Sevare and Timbuktu where he was also warmly welcomed.