Magharebia (Washington DC)

31 January 2013

Mali: Bamako Bars Al-Qaeda Allies From Peace Talks

Photo: HRW
Map of Mali

Malian President Dioncounda Traore excluded any al-Qaeda-linked group, including Ansar al-Din, from future peace talks, AFP reported.

"It is obvious that Ansar al-Din is now disqualified, not eligible for dialogue, whatever clothes they come garbed in," Traore told RFI in remarks aired Thursday (January 31st).

But the interim president said he would be willing to talk with the secular Touareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).

His comments came after Malian and French forces recaptured Kidal, forcing al-Qaeda local boss Abou Zeid and Ansar al-Din chief Iyad Ag Ghaly to flee to the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains.

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