News President Hollande - a frustratingly minimalist domestic reformer but a bold, global statesman

The French President has been criticised for his interventions in Mali and CAR but insists it is not old-fashioned paternalism but a mission to save lives

French and Chadian troops have captured the main al-Qa’ida “citadel” in northern Mali

French and Chadian troops 'capture Al-Qa’ida citadel in northern Mali'

French and Chadian troops have captured the main al-Qa’ida “citadel” in northern Mali, according to French officials and journalists.

A Malian soldier stands in a destroyed area in the key central town of Konna now controlled by French and Malian army

William Hague arrives in Mali for talks

The Foreign Secretary William Hague today arrived in Mali for talks with military commanders and local politicians, just weeks after a French force routed Islamist rebels from strongholds in the north of the country.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibility for the seizure of dozens of foreign hostages at the In Amenas plant in January

'This is the eighth time' – caution greets reports of Mokhtar Belmokhtar's death

DNA samples taken but Western experts say it is unlikely sworn enemies would be killed together

The French family was seized at about 7am local time at a village near the Waza National Park, where the family were reported to have visited on Monday

Seven members of a French family kidnapped in Cameroon

Seven members of a French family, three of them children, have been abducted in Cameroon three days after seven other foreigners were taken away at gunpoint in neighbouring Nigeria, raising fears that Islamist militants have started a campaign of capturing Western hostages in the region.

Salif Keita, Royal Festival Hall, London

Salif Keita found fame with the Rail Band of Bamako in the late 1960s, then with the Ambassadeurs. Both revelled in combining Afro-Cuban and native elements, with their classic line-up of electric guitar, balafon, kora and brass.

Tony Blair meeting troops in Iraq in 2003

Labour bids to banish the ghost of Tony Blair's toxic foreign interventions

Tories accused of making same mistakes as former PM in Mali

A Malian soldier stands guard at a check-point set on the road leading to Bourem in Gao, one day after Islamist gunmen battled French and Malian troops following two straight days of suicide bombings

French-led troops retake Gao

Malian troops hunted house-to-house in Gao today for Islamist insurgents whose attack inside the northern town at the weekend showed the risk that French forces might become entangled in a messy guerrilla war.

The Weekend's Viewing: subtitles are the modish accessory of the moment

Spiral, Sat, BBC4 // The Spa, Sun, Sky Living

Fighting returns to streets of northern town of Gao

Government troops fought gun battles with Islamist insurgents in the streets of the northern town of Gao today, highlighting fragile security in zones recently recaptured by a French-led military offensive.

A soldier by the remains of a suicide bomb site in Gao yesterday

Islamists used hostage payoffs from Nicolas Sarkozy's government to fund Mali raids

Ex-US ambassador claims former president paid out €89m to Saharan criminal gangs

French intervention in Mali is not colonialism. The Islamists really are our enemies

Too often commentators do not weigh the human cost of Western inaction

Many ancient manuscripts at the Ahmed Baba library in Timbuktu were destroyed by the Islamist fighters

Mali's religious scholars cunningly save ancient Islamic manuscripts from Salafist fighters in Timbuktu

The home of Dramane Maulvi Haidara is down a dusty alleyway of pot-holes with an open drain alongside. There, behind a heavy wooden door studded with metal in a dark, windowless room, lay a rich treasure trove that has been guarded with utmost care from a determined enemy.

John Obi Mikel of Nigeria celebrates during victory over Mail in the African Cup of Nations

Nigeria reach African Cup of Nations final with demolition of Mali

Nigeria rout Mali 4-0 in semi-final match

From Mr Normal to chef-de-guerre: How President Hollande found his appetite for leadership

After an uncertain start, intervention in Mali has bucked the President's approval ratings

Troops retake last of Mali rebel strongholds

Soldiers from Chad have occupied a former rebel bastion in northern Mali, completing the reconquest of all the populous areas overrun by Islamist insurgents.

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