Mali defense minister quits after army defeat in Kidal

A source close to Maiga told that the resignation followed a meeting with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Mali defense minister quits after army defeat in Kidal

World Bulletin/News Desk

Malian Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga has submitted his resignation on Tuesday, a week after government troops were routed by Tuaregs in the northern city of Kidal, the state television reported.

A source close to Maiga told Anadolu Agency that the resignation followed a meeting with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The city has recently been the scene of heavy fighting, with the army said to have launched an operation last week aimed at recovering facilities captured earlier by Tuaregs led by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).

However, the Malian government had tacitly admitted that its troops had suffered setback, citing "coordination and intelligence problems."

Maiga on Sunday said that at least 50 soldiers had been killed in last week's clashes.

Under mediation efforts led by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, three Azawad groups in northern Mali agreed later to a ceasefire deal with the central government in Bamako.

Signatories to the agreement included the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, the High Council for the Unity of Azawad and the Arab Movement of Azawad.

Turmoil erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup attempt and a Tuareg rebellion that ultimately allowed Al-Qaeda-linked groups to take over half of the country.

Former colonial power France later sent troops to Mali and, with the help of Chadian and other African forces, flushed the militants from northern Mali's main cities.

Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2014, 11:23
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