UK troops to assist Mali operation to halt rebel advance
13 January 2013 Last updated at 09:44 GMT
The UK has agreed to help transport foreign troops and equipment to Mali amid French efforts to contain rebels.
In recent days France has attacked militants in Mali to support the Malian government, and has attempted to rescue a French hostage in Somalia.
Downing Street stressed no UK troops would be deployed in a combat role.
The move was agreed in a phone call between Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande, Downing Street said.
Tom Singleton reports.