Burkina Faso calls upon Mali to open talks with rebels

BAMAKO - Burkina Faso, which is attempting to mediate an end to the crisis in its West African neighbor Mali, on Saturday called upon Malian President Dioncounda Traore to open direct talks with Islamist fighters in control of the country's north.
Military experts from Africa, the United Nations and Europe have drafted plans to retake control of northern Mali, which fell to rebels in March after a coup in the capital Bamako created a power vacuum.
Mali's neighbors fear the instability could spill over its borders, and the United States and European countries fear the vast and loosely governed Sahel region may become a new base for terrorist groups including al-Qaida. However any military intervention will not be ready until some time next year.
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