Malian Prime Minister Diango Cissoko on Thursday (December 27th) pleaded for African military intervention "as soon as possible" to help his country oust armed groups, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Le Monde reported.
He was speaking at a press conference after a meeting with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, who also chairs the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS).
Cissoko began a regional tour Wednesday in Ouagadougou, where he met with ECOWAS mediator and Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré. He will also visit Benin and Senegal.
Last week, the United Nations decided to back the ECOWAS proposal to send 3,300 troops to the region.
The Security Council gave an initial one year authorisation to the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to use "all necessary measures" to help Malian authorities retake land held by "terrorist, extremist and armed groups".