EU calls for ceasefire in north Mali

2012-04-04 17:29
Brussels - The European Union called for an immediate ceasefire in northern Mali on Wednesday, voicing "great concern" over the situation in Timbuktu where Islamic radicals imposed sharia law.

The EU appealed to neighbouring countries and authorities in Mali to allow full access for humanitarian workers and supplies to the north after Tuareg rebels and Islamic militants marched across half the country.

The EU appeals for "an immediate ceasefire in the north" and "the opening of talks between legitimate Malian stakeholders and the rebels," said Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The 27-nation bloc also calls for mediation by neighbouring countries, including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), she told AFP.

Timbuktu was seized by the Tuareg and Islamist movements on Sunday, but witnesses say the Islamists took control of the historic city on Monday with the backing of al-Qaeda's regional wing.

Three of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's top leaders were spotted Timbuktu, where the new rulers ordered women to wear headscarves and threatened to cut off the hands of thieves.

The rout in the north came two weeks after a military coup in the capital Bamako that was condemned by the international community and prompted the EU to suspend development aid to Mali.

But unlike the United States and regional African groups, the EU is not planning to impose sanctions on the junta leaders, Kocijancic said.

The EU backs "all efforts aimed at restoring constitutional order in Mali", she told a news briefing.

And the 27-nation bloc, she said, encourages "all political parties to agree on a roadmap for transition".

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    tuaregs  |  ecowas  |  al-qaeda  |  eu  |  mali  |  west africa  |  coup
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Habana believes in younger Boks
All Blacks ready for a 'hell of a battle'
Barnes to ref Boks, Wales clash
Brave Blossoms: 'Sport heroes of Japan'

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.