Malian Government To Resume Talks With Rebel Group

Tuareg rebels
Tuareg rebels

Talks will resume soon between the Malian government and an ethnic Tuareg rebel group whose influence has been growing in the country’s north, Burkina Faso’s foreign minister says.

No immediate date was given for the negotiations, announced on Monday, though the announcement comes amid lingering questions about the future of rebel-held Kidal.

It has remained unclear how the town could take part in long-awaited elections now promised for July.

Earlier this month, a Malian military spokesperson said the country was in the final stages of preparation for an assault on the northern provincial capital.

Djibril Bassole, the Burkina Faso foreign affairs minister, said that talks would soon resume.

The last negotiations were back in December before the French launched a military offensive to remove the ultraconservative armed groups who had battled with the Tuareg rebels for control of Kidal and other northern cities.

“In the days to come, contact will be made with all the players and partners from the international community so that favourable conditions can be set up for holding elections in a calm atmosphere with the participation of all,” he said.

Those conditions must include the disarmament of rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or the MNLA.

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