France, Africa seeks support for regional Mali force
Abidjan/Niono, Mali: France and West African leaders have called on other world powers to commit money and logistical support for African armies readying their troops to join French soldiers already battling al Qaeda-linked militants in Mali.
The appeal came as African leaders met in Ivory Coast on Saturday to hammer out details of a regional mission that is due to take over from French forces but is dispatching soldiers while still short of financing, planning and even ammunition.
France has deployed ground troops and its war planes have bombed rebel columns and bases, halting an Islamist advance.
The intervention aims to stop militants from tightening their grip on Mali's northern desert zone and using it as a springboard for attacks in Africa and on the West.