The UN Security Council should reach an agreement in two or three weeks to ground the troops, according to Reuters citing an unnamed, senior UN official.
The French invasion of Mali took a troubling turn, as Islamists started a campaign of guerrilla fighting using suicide attacks and landmines.
The Islamists have been accused of brutal abuses during their 10 month-old rule over northern Mali, but Malian forces have also been accused of reprisal killings.
Meanwhile Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has reportedly called for jihad in Mali. The call to holy war from AQAP, the global network's Yemen-based branch, which was labeled by US officials as Al-Qaeda's most dangerous franchise, came as troops sought to tighten a security lock-down in Gao, which is the largest city in northern Mali and the target of a string of Islamist attacks.
France’s military intervention of Mali against Islamist groups started four weeks ago, after the interim government asked for help against Islamist insurgents who had captured the north for 10 months and were advancing into southern territory.
Paris sent in 4,000 troops backed by fighter jets and helicopters, racking up a string of early successes as the rebels were forced into desert and mountain hideouts by French and Malian forces in the north of the country.
Voice of Russia, RT