World Bulletin / News Desk
A top commander serving in one of Mali's powerful pro-government militias was murdered in the country's northeast, sources told AFP Friday, with two suspects in custody.
Almadi Ag Lengach -- the military chief of the Imghad and Allies Tuareg Self-Defence Group known by the French acronym GATIA -- was slain at home in Menaka, one of its fighters told AFP.
"(Ag Lengach) was killed at home by armed men who then ran off," said GATIA member Mohamed Ag Ouleg.
Two security sources reached by AFP confirmed that two suspects were in custody.
The GATIA, which supports the central government in Bamako, signed a 2015 peace deal with state authorities and members of the country's former rebel alliance that is aimed at quelling uprisings in the north.
A 2012 rebellion by the Tuareg-led rebels was hijacked by militants who then seized control of key northern cities, triggering an international military intervention the following year.
Since the peace deal aimed at ending the conflict, the GATIA has been accused of multiple ceasefire violations, and in September last year US ambassador to Mali Paul Folmsbee told the government it should "sever all ties" with the group.
Militias like the GATIA operate in areas where Mali's army is absent or has a very limited presence, and patrols areas within its control. Menaka residents told AFP Ag Lengach was an important figure in the city's security apparatus.
Ag Lengach's murder comes as the country struggles to implement key elements of the peace deal including temporary regional bodies charged with organising elections when security can be assured for voters.
The interim authorities, as they are known, were put into place on March 2 in Menaka but remain absent in the restive city of Timbuktu, where armed groups have also clashed repeatedly.
Militants continue to roam the country's north and east, mounting attacks on civilians and the army, as well as French and UN forces still stationed in the country.
"It's a big problem, it's a world problem," he said in the Sicilian town of Taormina, just weeks after he called North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un a "madman with nuclear weapons."
The two-day summit in Sicily's ancient hilltop resort of Taormina kicks off four days after children were among 22 people killed in a concert bomb attack in Manchester.
Maimane was planning to attend treason trial of Zambian opposition leader in capital Lusaka
Police search post offices, embassies, airport in Greek capital after letter bomb attack
Foreign minister says UN should not try to replace country’s justice system by conducting parallel investigation
A former chief of the council, ethnic issues expert Mihail Ivanov called the appointment "an outrage against minorities."
The National Liberation Army (ELN) is the country's second-largest rebel group after the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). A former member of the group Victus tells his story
In keeping with his nationalist economic agenda, Trump had in particular hit out at Germany's substantial trade surplus with the US, threatening to introduce customs duties in retaliation.
The 75-year-old was given a lethal injection after the US Supreme Court allowed the execution to proceed by denying the inmate's stay requests.
Resolution by House committee ‘one-sided’, foreign ministry says
Goal is to help prevent baby deaths, TIKA agency's deputy coordinator in Nairobi says
Legislation specifies funding, administrative board structure
His speech capped a nostalgic visit for the 33-year-old billionaire, which included a visit to his old dorm room.
Simeonov, 62, is co-leader of the United Patriots (UP), the junior party in the governing coalition.
US leader hints at prosecutions over American leaking of sensitive information about suicide bombing in UK