French troops stand at attention during a handover ceremony of the Timbuktu mission from France to Burkina Faso at Timbuktu airport
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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.