. Africa News .

Mali 'cannot have two armies': French minister
by Staff Writers
Bamako (AFP) April 26, 2013

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday that Mali "cannot have two armies" in the rebel-held city of Kidal, calling for talks with armed Tuareg militants in the war-torn north.

The Tuaregs' National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which runs Kidal, has refused to give up its weapons or take part in elections planned for July until negotiations have taken place with the Mali government.

"It is obvious that there cannot be two Malian armies. But in this specific case, to recover the territorial integrity of Kidal, we need dialogue. There will be no partition," Le Drian told a media conference in Gao, northen Mali's biggest city.

"It is therefore necessary to resume dialogue, dialogue that allows Mali recover its sovereignty in a climate of mutual respect."

The MNLA launched a rebellion for independence of the north in January last year which plunged the west African nation into crisis.

Its insurgency sparked a coup in Bamako by soldiers in March 2012, and the crisis deepened when the rebellion was hijacked by its Islamist allies, leaving the north of the country in the hands of hardline extremists.

As former colonial power France swept to Mali's aid in January and drove out the Al Qaeda-linked Islamists, the MNLA reclaimed control of Kidal, the heart of the Tuareg homeland which they call Azawad.

French and Chadian troops took charge of securing the town, as the MNLA refused the presence of Malian soldiers, demanding autonomy.

"This visit to Gao is first of all to congratulate the French troops for their commitment and professionalism, and to let them know how proud of them the nation is," Le Drian added.

"I also came to say that the mission continues and that France will remain as long as it takes."

Le Drian's visit comes shortly after the beginning of a phased withdrawal of the 4,500-strong French contingency which will see just 1,000 troops left in Mali by the end of the year.

They will be gradually be replaced, starting from July, by a force of 12,600 peacekeepers responsible for stabilising the north, whose creation was approved Thursday by the United Nations Security Council.

Le Drian, who arrived Thursday in Bamako on the first leg of a tour of several countries to prepare for a post-war Mali, heads from Gao to Niamey and N'Djamena, the respective capitals of Niger and Chad.


Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear


S.African leaders at odds on C.Africa troop re-deployment
Cape Town (AFP) April 24, 2013
South Africa's president and his deputy contradicted each other on Wednesday on plans to re-deploy troops to the troubled Central African Republic, where 13 South African soldiers were lost last month. President Jacob Zuma said that a summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) he attended in Chad had verbally requested him to resend soldiers. The request "will be ... read more

India predicted to receive normal monsoon rains

Deep, Permeable Soils Buffer Impacts of Agricultural Fertilization on Streams and Rivers in Southern Amazon

EU set to ban pesticides blamed for decline of bees: source

Ecology, economy and management of an agro-industrial Amazon frontier

Scientists to replenish lobster population with help from wind farm

Insights into deadly coral bleaching could help preserve reefs

Israeli scientists discover why soft corals have unique pulsating motion

Campaign to save Barrier Reef from industry

Ireland: EU consensus exists for setting 2030 greenhouse gas targets

Regional insights set latest study of climate history apart

Earth's current warmth not seen in the last 1,400 years or more

Geochemical method finds links between terrestrial climate and atmospheric carbon dioxide

Ethiopia and China sign $1 billion power deal

New York approves power line from Canada

$674 billion annual spend on 'unburnable' fossil fuel assets signals failure to recognise huge financial risks

Germany energy transition faces cuts after European Parliament vote

China conducts its first successful bio-fueled airline flight

Recipe for Low-Cost, Biomass-Derived Catalyst for Hydrogen Production

Bugs produce diesel on demand

New input system for biogas systems

U.S. lawyer defends Australian asylum seekers

Ukraine marks Chernobyl disaster amid efforts to secure reactor

Landslide kills 14 in Ecuador

Pakistan quake victims burn tyres at angry protests

Research Harnesses Solar-Powered Proteins to Filter Harmful Antibiotics from Water

European lawmakers tighten rules on ship-breaking industry

Albania to hold referendum on waste imports

Smog-eating pavement on greenest street in America

Hong Kong's pursuit of luxury defies Western gloom

Southeast Asian leaders talk China, trade

France eyes becoming trading hub for China yuan

China warns US on turning away investors

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement