Mali quick facts
Mali, a large, multiethnic country of 15 million people straddling the Sahara, ranks low on the Human Development Index.
Internet users - just over 400,000 people - are only around three percent of the population.
One of the best ways to reach a significant number of people is through mobile phone technology, which is possessed by more than two-thirds of Malians.
Mali's armed groups
The Mali Speaks responses, translated into English, were overwhelmingly favourable (96%) to the French military intervention and were grouped into five pro-intervention categories based on the tone of the text: stability, security, necessity, gratitude and anti-terrorism.
Just 4% of responses were anti-intervention.
The vast majority of responses
praised efforts by Paris to help return sovereignty to the Malian government.
After hardline Islamist fighters captured the central town of Konna on a southward push towards Mali's population centres, President Dioncunda Traore asked France to step in. The former colonial power began pounding rebel fighters in air strikes and sending thousands of troops into the area.
Regional bloc ECOWAS also committed 5,800 troops, as the UN-approved operation got off the ground sooner than the expected autumn 2013 deployment.
The foreign forces aim to help Mali's army roll back control over the northern towns of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal
by a range of fighters affiliated with Ansar Dine, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and MUJAO.
Secular Tuareg nationalist fighters from MNLA and other groups
have been sidelined in recent violence.
After warning that rebel control of northern Mali posed a security threat to Europe, French President Francois Hollande said on January 15 that his country's forces will remain in Mali until stability returns.
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