Government of Mali begins indirect talks with Tuareg Rebels
The government of Mali has begun indirect talks with Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad in efforts aimed at bringing peace to the northern part of the country. The Tuaregs have been fighting the government since last year when they and Islamic militants from other countries took control of the north and declared independence. But relations with the Islamists were short live. They fought each other after disagreements over the type of Islamic law to implement. While the Islamists wanted a radical form of Sharia, the Tuaregs wanted the ordinary Moslem law based on the Koran and acceptable to the ordinary people. The Islamic militants were forced out of north Mali early this year by a combined force of French and African troops. The United Nations advised the government of Mali to enter dialogue with the Tuaregs, who occupied the town of Kidal in January this year. The peace talks are taking place in Burkina Faso under the mediation of President Blaise Compaore. Mr. Campaore told reporters on Sunday that the aim is to find a durable solution to the political and military crisis in Mali.