January 15th, 2013
01:29 PM ET

French president on Mali: We needed to stop the rebels

[Updated at 1:29 p.m. ET] Islamist rebels would have taken Mali's capital had France's military not intervened in the African nation in the last few days, French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday.

"If we had not taken up our responsibility and if on Friday morning we had not acted with this intervention, where would Mali be today?" he asked.

The French defense minister told CNN that up to 800 troops are in Mali to help Malian forces in an offensive against Islamist militants, and that up to 1,700 total French forces including the 800 in Mali are involved in a variety of capacities, such as offering logistical support from various French military bases across Africa.

Hollande, speaking on a visit to the United Arab Emirates, said France intends to "make way as quickly as possible" for an African force.

Read more about France's military intervention, which began Friday.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Ted

    Maui is a very beautiful place. I love Hawaii.

    January 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Mali. In Africa.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • dyslexic

      Mail. You've got mail.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    Simply dubbing the rebels 'Islamists" is wrong and misleading. The deprived and under developed North has genuine grievances , people are struggling for their basic needs. Extremists & criminals as always under such conditions worm their way in.

    January 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephens

      Maui has an incredible amount of tourist activity. I don't think anyone on the island is suffering that much, be it in the north or south.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    comments being blocked.

    January 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I support the USA's helping France in any way necessary to stop the rebels.

    January 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    Mali, Stephens. In Africa. Not Maui.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hide Behind

    And where would Mali of gone if the French and half of US Financed Africa Corp had not gone there.
    Where was the threat to France from the people in Northern Mali.
    Just what kind of goverent is France and US backing in the south.
    What made our state department change its mind on our own interventionist intensions.
    Why after 10's of millions did obama and hillary have egg on face when Souths leader went bonkers?

    January 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    It should be a matter to be resolved by African nations & their military forces.
    We are seeing yet again the 'chosen' western powers engage in bombing raids in places where they have no business to be., thousands of miles away.

    January 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    When it comes to war @ saywhat, this country just cannot mind its own business can it? Stupidity seems to be the mindset these days.

    January 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    Neon Leon and the DOD, have realized what al-Qaida did in 1999/2000 when they planned 9/11 and we realized in 2007. There will be no help when al-Qaida take another country and set it up as a safe haven. You can't outsource things to the French, it has to be put in context, back in 2007 the US was bogged down in two countries and in trouble, in the end there would be a lack of will, to finish the task, and or still stuck there in two AO's and bankrupt. And they are setting up shop to hit you again and you can't fight on a third front. It can't be a model because who is there, the Europeans, there is no one. Other than the French, this time. There is no one to subcontact operations too. And the reason you get French military support this time is because of budget cuts and the relevance of the Legion, in a professional army. You can try but I don't think it will be a regular thing. When you get everything into context you can see how it comes about, this cooperation from the French. Everyone knows what led up to 9/11, the CIA and DOD may think these people setting up another safe haven is a drama, others may think they are not a threat. And that is clearly how it is seen, not as a threat or one that can be kicked down the road, to another administration. Anyway crisis averted this time, as you liberate these areas you hear they are all foreigners, the majority,from the population. Our work is done.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |