April 10, 2013
France has withdrawn its first batch of 100 troops out of the 4,000 deployed in Mali as it prepares to hand over operations to a UN peacekeeping force, with 1,000 French troops to remain on the ground by the end of the year.
However, fears are mounting that Mali will become a drawn-out war, spilling into other regions and fueling terrorism.
France justified its January intervention into Mali as a necessary battle to stem the advance of Al-Qaeda-linked militants who had seized northern Mali, and threatened to gain control over the capital Bamako.
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