Malian govt will meet fighters face-to-face

Malian minister rejects independence demands, military operation expected, but not imminently.

Malian govt will meet fighters face-to-face

World Bulletin / News Desk

Senior Malian government officials will meet rebels for their first face-to-face talks on Tuesday, but Bamako's rejection of both groups' demands means swift progress is unlikely.

Mali this year has been plunged into crisis by a rebellion in its desert north and a coup in the capital. Rebels dominated by Islamists now control the north while politics in the southern capital remain in post-coup paralysis.

Malian Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly, speaking on the eve of talks hosted by regional mediator Burkina Faso, said Tuesday's talks would mark the end of months of preparatory work and see diplomacy enter a new phase.

However, Coulibaly said the independence sought by secular MNLA rebels and the imposition of sharia, Islamic law, demanded by Islamist group Ansar Dine, would not gain traction.

"The Republic (of Mali) is one and indivisible, and it is secular," Coulibaly told reporters in Ouagadougou.

"As a result, these independence claims and efforts to install by force a faith or a law will not work in Mali."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Aralık 2012, 11:20