Mali Islamist group says ends ceasefire with government

January 4, 2013 13:37

DAKAR - Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine said it has suspended a ceasefire it agreed with Mali's government last month, accusing Bamako of making a mockery of peace talks by gearing up for war.

Ansar Dine is one of the main armed groups controlling northern Mali's vast desert since a rebellion in April that Western and regional powers fear could provide a haven for Islamist radicals to plot international attacks.

"Ansar Dine has no choice but to suspend its offer to cease hostilities, which was hard-won by the mediators but mocked by the Malians," the group said in a statement dated Dec. 26 and seen by Reuters on Friday.

Mali's government, Ansar Dine, and Tuareg separatist group MNLA agreed to end hostilities at peace talks organized by regional mediator Burkina Faso on Dec. 5.

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