World Bulletin/News Desk
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the African Union (A.U.), has sat down with Tuaregs in the northern town of Kidal to discuss a possible truce after rebels recaptured the town from government troops, a U.N. source said Friday.
Abdel Aziz, who arrived in Kidal earlier Friday, met with Tuareg leaders in a camp belonging to the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a source from the mission said.
MINUSMA chief Bert Koenders accompanied Abdel-Aziz during the talks, the source added.
Heavy fighting erupted on Wednesday in Kidal, where the army is said to have launched an operation to recover facilities captured by Tuaregs on Saturday.
Around 3400 people have fled Kidal due to fears of renewed clashes between the army and rebels, MINUSMA announced earlier this week.
Abdel Aziz, who is also president of neighboring Mauritania, arrived in Bamako on Thursday, where – during talks with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Prime Minister Moussa Mara – he offered to mediate between the government and the rebels.
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 rebels from northern Mali's main cities.Last Mod: 24 Mayıs 2014, 10:57