News / Africa

Mali Islamists Reopen Talks With Tuareg Rebels

Malians gesture behind the national flag at a rally against the seizure of northern Mali by Tuareg and Islamist rebels, in Bamako (file photo).Malians gesture behind the national flag at a rally against the seizure of northern Mali by Tuareg and Islamist rebels, in Bamako (file photo).
x
Malians gesture behind the national flag at a rally against the seizure of northern Mali by Tuareg and Islamist rebels, in Bamako (file photo).
Malians gesture behind the national flag at a rally against the seizure of northern Mali by Tuareg and Islamist rebels, in Bamako (file photo).
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
An Islamist group in Mali says it has reopened talks with Tuareg rebels to create an independent Islamist state in the north of the country.
 
In an interview with a VOA reporter, members of the al-Qaida-linked extremist group Ansar Dine confirmed Saturday the group has reopened talks with the Tuareg-led National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, or MNLA.
 
This comes a day after a senior member of the Tuareg rebels said the group is pulling out of any deal to form an independent state in order to maintain its "staunchly secular" character.
 
The deal, signed on May 26 in the northern town of Gao, called for Tuareg rebels and Ansar Dine to join forces for an independent state of Azawad. The state would be operated under strict Islamic law, or Sharia.
 
The Tuareg rebels and Islamist fighters joined forces in a fast-moving offensive to seize northern Mali following a military coup in March in the capital, Bamako. Mali's transitional government has rejected the rebels' declaration of independence in the north.
 
The Tuaregs are seeking to create an independent secular state of Azawad, while Ansar Dine wants to impose Sharia across the entire country.
 
Sect members have started introducing hardline Islamic law in key regional areas including Gao and Timbuktu. However, residents in the region who are accustomed to a moderate form of Islam have resisted the new measures.
 
 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid