Son of French hostage in Mali asks Macron for help

French prosecutors have charged a man with plotting to assassinate President Emmanuel Macron during an upcoming parade in Paris.

Speaking in Mali's capital Bamako, he said France and the "Sahel G5" countries - Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger - had to work together to eradicate "terrorists, thugs and murderers".

Macron's aides also say that by convening parliament's 925 lawmakers to the 17th century palace built outside Paris by Louis XIV - the "Sun King" - the president is seeking to restore old-fashioned grandeur to the role, his aides say.

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, stands next to Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita during the opening session of G5 Sahel force summit in Bamako, Mali, Sunday, July 2, 2017.

"We need long-term perspective, but we must also act quickly and swiftly, therefore the shuffle between the two houses of parliament must be simplified", he said.

The new force will operate in the region along with the 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping mission and the 5,000-strong French troops already in Mali, which obtained its independence from France in 1960.

Dacko said on Sunday that the military headquarters of the new force would be in the northern Mali town of Sevare.

"Each of our states will make a €10 million contribution", he said, noting that the question of funding had taken precedence at the closed-door talks.

"The United Nations is struggling now with the approach of the U.S. that the UN should reduce its security budget around the world", Vall said.

At the end of the undated video, while not spelling out any demands the narrator tells the hostages' families "no genuine negotiations have begun" for their release but then adds that negotiations are "still active".

"Mr Macron is a challenge to democracy", said Nicole Coulbaut, a 65-year old retired teacher and Communist activist.

Al-Qaeda's Mali branch, meanwhile, offered a reminder of the militant threat, with the release of a proof-of-life video of six foreign hostages. During the campaign, Macron's comments on France's colonial history, in which he declared that France had committed "crimes against community" in Algeria, enraged members of France's far-right political party, the National Front. Religious extremism has spread south and attacks have become more brazen.

The clip posted Saturday by Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, also known as the Group to Support Islam and Muslims, includes elderly Australian surgeon Arthur Kenneth Elliott and Frenchwoman Sophie Petronin.

  • Rogelio Becker