On the ground training Mali's army
25 April 2013 Last updated at 07:57 BST
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a peacekeeping force in Mali.
The resolution asks for 12,000 mostly West African soldiers and police to be deployed in blue helmets from 1 July.
The news comes as France withdraws troops from the area and introduces a team of trainers to improve the Malian army's ability to protect its borders.
Alex Duval Smith reports.