Armed Islamist group Ansar al-Din on Thursday (January 3rd) backed out of a Mali peace deal, AFP reported.
"Ansar al-Din has decided to revoke the offer to stop hostilities together with the negotiations being conducted in Ouagadougou," the group's leader told Mauritanian news agency Sahara Medias.
Iyad Ag Ghaly said the pledge to end hostilities had been "torn out" of his delegation during "rough negotiations" in Algeria.
Ag Ghaly also lashed out at the Malian government, saying it had given nothing in return for the promise to end hostilities and was instead busy "recruiting mercenaries" to fight in the north of Mali.
On December 21st, Ansar al-Din and the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) signed a seven-point partnership agreement in Algiers, under which both parties rejected terrorism and opposed the use of military force in northern Mali.