Mali talks: Separatists vow to speak with single voice

2014-09-15 13:39
File: AFP

File: AFP

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

Algiers - Malian separatist militias agreed on Sunday to speak with a "single voice" in talks with Bamako on ending conflicts that still rage a year after Mali returned to democracy.

The APS news agency in Algeria, which is hosting a second round of talks between separatist groups and Malian government representatives, announced the move.

"Now it's one voice who will speak on behalf of the people of Azawad (northern Mali)," APS reported Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Salah, president of the Coalition of the People for Azawad (CPA), as saying.

He said the CPA, the Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

In it, they pledged to work together for the "legitimate" aspirations of the people of Azawad, he said after meeting Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra.

MAA general secretary Ahmed Ould Sidi Mohamed said that this step "will be followed by others until the outcome of a just and comprehensive solution" in Mali.

A second round of negotiations between Bamako and the armed groups began on 1 September.

Stability and peace

Riven by ethnic rivalries, a Tuareg rebellion and an Islamist insurgency in its vast desert north, the west African nation has struggled for stability and peace since a military coup in 2012.

There has been a spike in violence by Islamist and separatist militants in northern Mali, including the deaths in May of at least 50 soldiers in the Tuareg region of Kidal.

The Algeria talks are based on a "roadmap" agreed in July and overseen by a "college of mediators" including Algeria, the African Union and the 15-member regional bloc Ecowas.

Malian Prime Minister Moussa Mara has suggested that the government will make concessions but has set a "red line", saying that Mali's territorial integrity and secular status are not up for discussion.

The talks are taking place with a new defence agreement in place between Mali and its former colonial power France.

Paris recently wound up Operation Serval, its military offensive launched in January 2013 to oust Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists who had occupied northern Mali.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  mali  |  west africa

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.
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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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.