Top news: After French and African troops secured the historic city of Timbuktu, which had been under the control of militant Islamists since April 2012, French President François Hollande indicated that his country's involvement in Mali may be drawing to a close. "We are winning this battle," Hollande said in televised remarks on Monday. "Now, the Africans can take over."
The assault comes less than 48 hours after French forces retook the city of Gao, which, like Timbuktu, is strategically important because of its airport. The militants are thought to have retreated to the Adrar des Ifoghas mountain range, north of Timbuktu, but officials also fear they may have melted away into the population. "They've seen that fighting us directly rarely ends well for them," a French military spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. "They're not stupid, and they are choosing a mode of action that avoids confrontation -- at least for now."
Prior to retreating, the militants set fire to the Ahmed Baba Institute, which contains thousands of priceless manuscripts dating back to the 13th century.
Counterterrorism: The U.S. Africa Command plans to establish a drone base somewhere in northwest Africa in order to increase unarmed surveillance missions in the region. "This is directly related to the Mali mission, but it could also give Africom a more enduring presence for I.S.R.," an anonymous military official told the New York Times, referring to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The most likely location for the base is Niger, which borders Mali to the east, but officials are also looking at Burkina Faso as a potential base of operations.
- Fighting between South Sudanese soldiers and guards of a former rebel commander in the eastern town of Pibor left four people dead on Monday.
- France asked its citizens to evacuate northern Nigeria following threats associated with the French intervention in Mali.
- An attack by militants on an oil pipeline in Algeria's Djebahia region left two guards dead and seven others wounded.
- Yemeni security forces intercepted a boat filled with explosives and other weapons, potentially en route from Iran.
- Protests in Egypt continued into the night Monday, despite official curfews and a temporary state of emergency.
- The United Nations reported that some 700,000 refugees have fled Syria in the 22-month civil war.
- The Philippine Congress approved a bill Monday compensating those who were brutalized or killed during the rule of Ferdinand Marcos.
- A court in India ruled Monday that one of the six people accused in the deadly Delhi gang rape is a minor and should be tried accordingly.
- Flooding in northeast Australia Tuesday prompted roughly 1,000 helicopter evacuations.
- A court in Guatemala ordered former dictator Efrain Rios Montt to stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.
- The U.S. State Department plans to shutter the office responsible for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
- Cuban President Raul Castro assumed the presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Monday at a summit in Santiago, Chile.
- Dutch Queen Beatrix abdicated Monday in favor of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, who will be sworn in on April 30.
- Greece's finance minister said Monday that the probability of a so-called Grexit is "very small."
- A Moscow court on Monday scheduled preliminary hearings in the case against whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, even though he died in 2009.