BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s junta leader said on Saturday a power handover agreed with neighboring countries would take place in a matter of days with the appointment of an interim government of national unity.
The March 22 coup by disgruntled soldiers plunged the West African country into chaos and emboldened Tuareg rebels who have declared an independent state in the north of Mali.
BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s two-week-old junta agreed on Friday to hand over rule to civilians in return for the end of sanctions by worried neighbors who had threatened to strangle the economy of the West African country.
The accord between leaders of a March 22 coup and regional mediators came the day Tuareg rebels declared the independence of the northern half of Mali they seized in a lightning advance earlier this week – a secession bid shunned by the world.
BAMAKO (Reuters) – Tuareg-led rebels in Mali officially proclaimed on Friday the independence of the northern territory they call Azawad, a statement on the rebel MNLA website said.
The statement was made by the MNLA secretary-general Billal Ag Acherif and datelined in the Mali town of Gao, which along with the two other regional centers was captured in a swift rebel advance in the past week.
BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s neighbors could soon lift economic and diplomatic sanctions imposed on the West African country with the aim of forcing last month’s coup leaders to quit power, a regional mediator said after talks with the junta leader on Thursday.
The 15-member West African bloc ECOWAS this week shut the borders of the landlocked country and denied it access to funds from the regional central bank, moves that could start to strangle the economy of Africa’s third-ranked gold producer in days.
BAMAKO (Reuters) – Tuareg-led separatist rebels announced the end of their fight to create an “Azawad” state on the edge of the Sahara on Thursday after sweeping across northern Mali during a political crisis after a coup.
The ceasefire came ahead of a meeting of army chiefs from West Africa’s ECOWAS bloc, which will try and hammer out a plan for military intervention in Mali, which experts fear has become a security vacuum for al Qaeda cells and smugglers to exploit.
BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s MNLA separatist rebels announced they had ended their fight to create an “Azawad” state on the edge of the Sahara on Thursday after achieving their goal amid a political crisis that has paralyzed southern capital.
The ceasefire was announced ahead of a meeting of army chiefs from West Africa’s ECOWAS bloc in Ivory Coast, where they will try and hammer out a plan for military intervention in Mali, which experts fear has become a security vacuum for al Qaeda cells and smugglers to exploit.
PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s military rulers on Wednesday postponed a national convention to end a crisis sparked by a coup, which has led to international isolation and allowed rebels to seize control of the northern half of the country.
Colonel Moussa Coulibaly, an adviser to the head of the junta, said the talks, which political parties and civil society groups had earlier said they would boycott, were postponed to provide more time for preparations.
PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s political parties on Wednesday rejected the army’s plan to hold a national convention to end a crisis sparked by a coup, which has led to international isolation and let rebels seize control of the northern half of the country.
France and the United Nations warned that the seizure of northern Mali by rebels was playing into the hands of local al Qaeda units, and former colonial power France urged Algeria and other neighbors to do more to tackle the threat.
PARIS/BAMAKO (Reuters) – France warned on Wednesday the seizure of northern Mali by a Tuareg-led rebellion was playing into the hands of local al Qaeda units, urging neighbors including Algeria to do more to tackle the threat.
For long one of the most stable democracies in West Africa, Mali has plunged into turmoil since a widely condemned March 22 coup that emboldened Tuareg rebels in their quest for a northern homeland.
April 4 (Reuters) – When turban-swathed Tuareg rebels swept
into Timbuktu on Sunday to plant the flag of their northern Mali
homeland, they found very few tourists in the bars, hotels,
museums, mosques and libraries of the fabled and ancient Saharan
Local guides say numbers of foreign visitors had already
fallen off after a Dutchman, a South African and a Swede were
seized by gunmen in the historic Malian city in November. A
German citizen was killed in the abduction claimed by al Qaeda.