Retreating Mali rebels 'threaten stability of region'

Efforts to push back rebels in Mali could destabilise neighbouring countries, experts have warned.

Dr Mali Rodet, lecturer in the History of Africa at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), said that although French military action was proving successful, it could just be moving out the problem, rather than solving it.

Most of these jihadists are coming from Algeria, Mauritania, western Sahara and further.

So far they (French forces) have been quite successful because if most of these fighters are coming from outside and they realise that Mali is no longer a safe sanctuary for their terrorist action, they will find another place.

What is worrying is they move into neighbouring countries so it doesn't solve the problem - Mali will become safer but there's a high risk that it will destabilise all the neighbouring countries.

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French president in Mali visit

There was a hero's welcome for France's President Hollande when he arrived in Timbuktu. He was visiting the desert city in Mali, after its recapture from Islamic extremists.