UN to Mull Peacekeeping Mission in Mali

By Bloomberg - 2013-01-31T18:30:17Z

Photograph by Eric Feferberg/AFP via Getty Images

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On the Ground

French forces intervened Jan. 11 when Islamist militants went on the offensive toward Mali's capital, Bamako.

In a 48-hour operation starting Jan. 26, they took control of the "bend" in the Niger River from Gao to Mopti through a combination of armored unit drives, paratroop drops and helicopter raids. It was part of a campaign to regain state control of two-thirds of a nation that vies with Tanzania as Africa's third-biggest gold producer.

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