Days after French and Malian forces liberated Gao, the town's governor offered his thanks --- presenting the forces with five cows.
French Special Forces led a misison to drive al Qaeda linked fighters from the area over the weekend.
International forces were also warmly received in Ansongo. Locals cheered a convoy of 150 military vehicles from Niger.
Just three miles from the strategic town of Gao, Ansongo was where Islamist fighters carried out a forced amputation last year --- not long after they took control of the area.
Malians celebrate as forces roll through Gao, Ansongo (0:45)
Jan. 30 - Malians cheered the arrival of international troops in Ansongo, located just three miles from the strategic town of Gao. Deborah Gembara reports. ( Transcript )