US official: Mali intervention 'could take years'; US wants African-led operation

A U.S. official is warning that the French-led military intervention in Mali could take years.

Don Yamamoto said Monday the French intervention is only the first phase, and that there should be no illusion that success will come quickly.

Yamamoto said the U.S. would like to see an African-led, -owned and -directed operation like the one that successfully pushed militants out of Somalia's capital after several years of warfare. Yamamoto, a top State Department official on Africa, spoke at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

The U.S. has been providing military transport to move French troops and equipment. The U.S. flew one refueling mission on Sunday, delivering 33,000 pounds of fuel, the U.S. military's Africa Command said.

The African Union hosts a donors conference Tuesday for Mali.