Mali president asks African forces to intervene: diplomat

PHOTO | HABIBOU KOUYATE | FILE Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore looks on during the first council of ministers at Koulouba Palace in Bamako on August 23, 2012. Mali's interim president Diouncouda Traore has formally asked west African forces to intervene to take back northern Mali from Islamist rebels, a senior French official said here on September 4, 202.

What you need to know:

  • ECOWAS has said it is prepared to send a 3,300-strong force into Mali
  • So far the interim government has been reluctant to allow foreign troops in
  • Once one of the region's most stable democracies, Mali has crumbled into turmoil since democratically elected president Amadou Toumani Toure was overthrown by the military in March



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