7 Jul 2013

Mali lifts state of emergency

10:25 am on 7 July 2013

Mali has lifted a five-month state of emergency on the eve of the start of a presidential election campaign in the troubled west African nation.

The state of emergency was put in place in 12 January, a day after France launched a surprise intervention to help Mali's weakened army drive out Islamists occupying its vast north for nine months.

With the Islamists driven into the desert, Mali is pinning its hopes for stability on polls, AFP reports.

The 28 July election date was set under pressure from the international community.

However, with 500,000 people still displaced after the conflict, many have raised concerns about the difficulty of holding an election so soon.