9:48AM GMT 13 Jan 2013
French aircraft and troops are backing soldiers in Mali who are trying to push back Islamist offensives.
Hollande said that at the request of the President of Mali, France had committed itself to support the Malian army against what he described as “terrorist aggression that threatens the whole of West Africa.”
“I have ordered the reinforcement of our French military forces in Bamako to protect our citizens,” he continued.
Meanwhile, in Somalia, French commandos launched a failed raid to rescue an intelligence agent held hostage there for three years.