Mali: Ansar Dine and Tuareg Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) rebels agree to respect national unity
The Malian government and two rebel groups have agreed to respect the country’s “national unity”, after holding their first talks to try and end a criss that has seen the west African country effectively split in two.
Delegations from the government, the Islamist Ansar Dine and the Tuareg Azawad National Liberation Movement (known by its French acronym, MNLA) agreed “on the respect for Mali’s national unity and territorial integrity”, and “on the rejection of any form of extremism and terrorism” they said in a statement after the talks in Burkina Faso.
Tuesday’s talks in Ouagadougou were organised by Blaise Compaore, the president of Burkina Faso and west Africa’s top mediator for the crisis.
The rebel groups control much of the north of the country, which they have termed Azawad and earlier declared to be independent of the national government.