START OF OPERATION SERVAL
In Konna, in the middle of Mali, the French military operation Serval was launched to come to the aid of countries suffering attacks from armed jihadist groups.
Named after a type of wild cat living in Africa, operation Serval was approved by François Hollande, President of the Republic, at the request of Mali and the UN.
Soldiers on operation Serval in February 2013
The first helicopter operation was carried out on 11 January and resulted in the death of a French pilot. The soldiers were split into several different armed groups, operating in an unpredictable fashion. The rapid deployment of almost 5000 soldiers succeeding in stopping the advance of the rebels and allowed elections to be held in a more peaceful atmosphere.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION…
Vidéo : première opération le 11 janvier 2013 https://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/afrique/video-envoye-specialoperation-serval-quand-l-armee-filme-la-guerre-au-mali_434590.html
Book : Rémi Scarpa, Offensive éclair au Mali (Lightning offensive in Mali), published by Pierre de Taillac, 2014.