Mali conflict: France aiming for 'total reconquest'
20 January 2013 Last updated at 23:58 GMT
France has sent in 2,000 troops to help Malian forces fight Islamist militants who now control the northern half of the country.
French troops have been pushing northwards and are now in the town of Niono, 50km (30 miles) south of Diabaly.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said its military aim in Mali was "total reconquest".
Andrew Harding reports.