Global Post 
Jan 21, 2013
France — a former colonial power in West Africa — is aiming for a “total reconquest” of Mali in its military offensive against militants there, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says.
The comment came as French troops consolidated gains in Mali’s Islamist-held north as part of their advance on Al Qaeda-linked militants.
According to News.com.au , they are closing in on the mountainous region of Kidal, 930 miles from Bamako, near the border with Algeria.
The BBC cited  Le Drian as saying that the town of Diabaly, formerly a militant stronghold, had not yet been retaken, however, “everything points to a favourable evolution of the situation in Diabaly in the coming hours”.