Francois Hollande and Mali's interim president Traore
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Mali: Timbuktu welcomes French president Hollande

2 February 2013 Last updated at 12:05 GMT

France's president is visiting Mali, three weeks after French-led troops launched an offensive to oust Islamist rebels from the country's north.

Francois Hollande was welcomed by dignitaries and residents in Timbuktu, six days after the city was recaptured.

He is expected to thank the French soldiers and stress the need for an African force to replace them swiftly.

Andrew Harding reports on the visit.