BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- The French military intervention in Mali has halted the advance of Islamists trying to push from their northern stronghold. French President Francois Hollande made the remarks on Saturday. But Hollande also admitted there is still a long way to go for the mission.
Francois Hollande said, "Our adversaries have been stopped and they suffered heavy casualties. But our mission is not over. Let me repeat that this mission consists of the deployment of an African rapid deployment force to allow Mali to recover its territorial integrity, in compliance with the resolutions of the Security council."
Hollande said French forces will pursue their mission in Mali in a bid to prepare for the deployment of African troops there. In a brief speech after heading a war cabinet meeting, Hollande noted that his country’s military intervention in Mali will be limited to supporting the role of the ECOWAS African force. Hollande stressed that the operation is also aimed at protecting the 6,000 French citizens in Mali. Another defence meeting is scheduled on Sunday to discuss the developments of France’s mission in Mali.
Following the intervention in Mali, he also ordered tightened security at home. The order includes surveillance of public buildings and transportation networks. On the heels of the statement, French Prime Minsiter Jean-Marc Ayrault also said a terror alert plan was reinforced immediately.