Mali's military junta appeals to Tuareg rebels for talks


Mali junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo speaks at the Kati Military camp, in a suburb of Bamako, on March 22, 2012. The coup leader said he is the head of the National Committee for the Establishment of Democracy, said his move was prompted by government's "inability" to put down a Tuareg-led insurrection in the north.


Habibou Kouyate

Mali's new military rulers have launched a televised appeal to the country’s Tuareg rebels in the north – urging them to “end hostilities” and hold talks, Agence France Presse reported.

Junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo said:

"We call on them to come to the negotiating table as soon as possible … Everything is negotiable except national territorial integrity and the unity of our country."

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Following the turmoil of last week’s military coup, the Tuareg have sought to advance their fight for the independence of what they say is their traditional homeland.

Sanogo insisted he had the support of the Malian population, despite his junta being isolated by the international community.

However in the capital, Bamako, demonstrators on Monday rallied in front of the stock exchange, demanding a return to constitutional order, AFP reported.

The United States has suspended an estimated $60-70 million in aid to Mali, but will maintain food and humanitarian assistance, Reuters reported.

Following the toppling of the Malian government, the whereabouts of President Amadou Toumani Toure remain uncertain.

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