REPORTER: A hero's welcome as French President Francois Hollande arrives in Timbuktu. Days after French and Malaian forces reclamied the city, Hollande is hailed as a libarator. His one day trip also took him to the capital city Bamako, where he offered his thanks as well as his assurances.
FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FRENCH PRESIDENT: "But I confess out of respect - France does not intend to remain here in Mali, because it is Malians themselves who will ensure the country's independence and sovereignty. This is how I see the relationship between France and Africa, respect, democracy and transparency. "
REPORTER: On January 11th France launched an offensive to clear northern Mali of Islamist jihadists. It's a move backed by the US and the EU. While they are providing training and support, they have ruled out sending their own ground troops.