Last remaining seats to the Jpost 2017 Annual Conference! Get your special offer now

Mali Tuaregs, Islamist rebels agree on new state

ByREUTERS
May 27, 2012 04:17

Mali rebels, Salafist group merge, agree on Islamic north; rebels say new administration to be appointed.

Tuareg nomad stands near 13th century mosque, Mali

Tuareg nomad stands near 13th century mosque at Timbuktu 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

BAMAKO - Mali's Tuareg rebel National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Ansar Dine Islamist militants have agreed to merge and create an independent Islamic state in the north of the country, a rebel spokesman said on Saturday.

The deal between MNLA, which has said it wants an independent secular state in the north, and the al-Qaida-linked Salafist Ansar Dine, which had wanted to impose Sharia across Mali, may complicate international efforts to stabilize Mali after a March coup that plunged the country into chaos.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


"The agreement reached this evening will see the merging of the two movements - the MNLA and Ansar Dine - to create an independent Islamic state," MNLA spokesman Mohamed Ag Attaher told Reuters by phone from Gao, in the north of Mali where the deal was signed.

"It will also see the merging of our two forces and the appointment of an executive authority for the Azawad state," Attaher said, referring to the northern regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu.

Celebratory gunfire was heard across the city of Gao and Timbuktu after news of the agreement, residents said.

The MNLA separatists, backed by Ansar Dine and other armed groups, taking advantage of a March 22 coup in Bamako, swept through Azawad in April, seizing an area bigger than France.

In the capital Bamako, efforts by regional neighbors to reinstate a civilian government and tackle the rebel occupation, have met with repeated setbacks as the junta seeks to continue to play a role in government.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • state
  • Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives for an opening ceremony of a newly constructed residential c
    April 25, 2017
    Massive drills in N. Korea as US navy positions in south

    By REUTERS

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 13 - 26
      Beer Sheva
      17 - 22
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 12 - 25
      Jerusalem
      15 - 23
      Haifa
    • 21 - 31
      Elat
      18 - 34
      Tiberias