Mali Islamist group under pressure

2012-11-05 12:11
(File,AP)

(File,AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso led efforts on Sunday to persuade one of the armed Islamist groups controlling northern Mali to cut ties with al-Qaeda as a west African military intervention looms to end the crisis.

Ansar Dine (Defender of Faith in Arabic) has joined with jihadist groups including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to take over the north of Mali in the wake of a March coup attempt in Bamako.

An Ansar Dine delegation which arrived in Ouagadougou on Friday met late on Sunday for about 45 minutes with Tieman Coulibaly, the foreign minister of Burkina's President Blaise Compaore.

"Things went well," said head delegate Algabass Ag Intalla after the talks.

A meeting on Monday between Intalla and Compaore, who has been the chief mediator in the Mali crisis for the regional bloc Ecowas, was not being ruled out.

The Ansar Dine envoys "renewed their availability and their commitment to find a negotiated solution to the crisis", said a source close to the mediation. The delegation was "very available, very open", the source added.

Group asserts 'independence'

As far as their "ties with the terrorist groups [are concerned], they insisted that they are independent" and had not committed "any act of terrorism", said the source, but added that Burkina Faso expected "concrete commitments".

Head delegate Intalla said he had met late on Saturday with the foreign minister in Mali's transitional government, in Ouagadougou, but declined to comment on their discussions.

The 16-nation Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has demanded that Ansar Dine end "terror and organised crime" in the region, breaking with the al-Qaeda and other Islamist factions and enter into a political dialogue to re-establish the unity of the Mali nation.

While not immediately acceding to these demands, the group sent out a signal, saying that "Ansar Dine is independent of any other group", Intalla said.

He added that his movement "is ready to negotiate so that there will be peace".

Countries in the region - as well as the international community - fear that north Mali could become a new breeding ground for "terrorists".

Key player

On Friday Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Ecowas "must take action to root out al-Qaeda, drug traffickers, kidnappers and other criminal elements who are turning northern Mali into a home for terrorists".

Terrorism fears have also led Algeria to hold talks with Ansar Dine representatives, the Algerian daily El Watan reported, citing a source close to the matter while the government has made no comment.

Algeria is seen as a key player in dealing with Islamic extremism, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the regional heavyweight this past week to press for support in the Mali crisis.

Algeria has been hesitant to get involved in any military intervention, however Washington feels that with its powerful army, counter-terrorism experience and intelligence services, it could play a central role.

Like Burkina Faso, Algeria would like to see a negotiated solution to the Malian crisis, while not ruling out a military intervention.

Meanwhile in Bamako, international experts were expected to finish their work on plans for a military force to enter Mali's desert north.

Islamic law

On 12 October, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution preparing for the deployment of such a force for Mali, giving Ecowas 45 days to firm up its plans.

The Mali coup attempt in March was triggered by soldiers angry at the government's handling of the Tuareg rebellion in the north and ousted the regime in Bamako. That however allowed the north to fall into the hands of the Tuareg rebels fighting alongside Islamic extremists.

The hardline Islamists quickly sidelined the secular Tuareg, eclipsing the desert nomads' plans for independence for an area they consider their homeland.

Mali was effectively split in two, with the north under control of Ansar Dine and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), backed by AQIM.

They have imposed their strict interpretation of Islamic law, stoning to death and whipping transgressors and forcing women to cover up as well as destroying ancient cultural treasures deemed "idolatrous".

Read more on:    un  |  ecowas  |  al-qaeda  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  algeria  |  burkina faso  |  west africa  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 10:46 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    Earlier ACCIDENT before Hospital Bend has been CLEARED - HEAVY DELAYS from Bhunga Avenue
  • Wednesday Hout Bay - 10:30 AM
    Road name: Chapmans Peak Drive
    ROAD CLOSED between 10am and 3pm every Wednesday for Alien Vegetation Clearing until July
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Financial Advisor:

Western Cape
Persona Staff
Market Related

Brand Manager

Western Cape
Peoplefinder Career Placements
Market Related

PHP Developer

Western Cape
Progressive IT Resourcing (Pty) Ltd
Market Related

Property [change area]

APARTMENTS / FLATS FOR SALE IN Hermanus

Apartments / Flats R 1 825 000

APARTMENTS / FLATS FOR SALE IN Hermanus, Eastcliff

Apartments / Flats R 1 825 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.