Bamako - A Tuareg commander loyal to the Malian government says he's crossed back into northern Mali from Niger.
Colonel El Hadj Ag Gamou said on Saturday that he was awaiting orders from the capital before moving any further after returning to the country. He declined to say how many fighters he had with him.
The group of soldiers commanded by Ag Gamou is one of the few units loyal to the Malian government with extensive experience fighting in the region's harsh desert and semi-desert conditions.
Mali's government forces were forced out of the country's north after Tuareg separatists and Islamic militants took advantage of a coup d'etat in Bamako last month to make a rapid advance.