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Mali groups reject Algeria, Burkina Faso role

26 November 2012, 10:07

Bamako - A coalition of Malian political parties and a citizen's association based in the Islamist-occupied north on Sunday objected to Algeria and Burkina Faso's role in mediating their country's crisis.

Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore was appointed by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) as the chief mediator in the Mali crisis.

Both Compaore as well as leaders in regional heavyweight Algeria, have held talks with rebels and Islamic extremists who are controlling northern Mali, but critics say they are giving too much leeway to the armed groups.

The Union of Patriotic Democrats for the End of the Crisis (ADPS) - a coalition of political parties and associations - demanded that Mali's interim government "officially and publically reject" president Compaore's role as chief mediator.

The group accused Compaore of promoting the interests of Tuareg separatists and al-Qaeda linked extremist group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) and giving "carte blanche to these deserters and criminals who have the blood of hundreds of civilians and soldiers on their hands".

The statement accused Compaore of being the "commander-in-chief of the rebel forces threatening Mali's territorial integrity."

A collective of citizens of the north, COREN, also said it was "deeply concerned" by the mediation led by Compare as well as those in Algeria, which it said sought to clean the slate of "terrorist movements."

The talks are taking place in a bid for a negotiated end to the occupation, however Ecowas is planning a military intervention in northern Mali which is awaiting approval from the United Nations.

COREN urged the regional bloc to "keep an eye" on Compaore's mediation efforts and to rapidly firm up plans for an intervention it believes is "the only realistic diplomacy that will be heard by the terrorists."



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