In Moncton, people from Mali plan to rally in front of the French consulate Saturday afternoon to show thanks for French support in their country.     

Students and immigrants want to thank France for its help after sending more than a thousand soldiers to Mali to help fight an Al-Quaeda-linked insurgency.     

Assa Traore is one of a hundred students from Mali studying at l'Université de Moncton. Malians are the largest group of international students on campus.

Traore said they plan to walk from City Hall to the French consulate on Main Street Saturday.  

"The march is something that the Malians organized to show the French that we are thankful to them and to show the soldiers that we are with them, we are supporting them, and we know they are doing the best for our country," she said.  

Cheick Konate is a Canadian citizen originally from Mali. He now works at the university. Konate said Canada is also helping by sending one plane for one week to transport French troops and supplies.  

"I think it is good and we say thanks to Canada for that â€” but I think Canada can and may do more than that," he said.  

Mali is a former French colony. Konate said it was once one of West Africa's most stable democracies.

He's hoping other democracies will help Mali fight off, what he calls "criminals and terrorists."