Fighting, crackdown on women mar peace moves in Mali

PHOTP | AHMED OUOBA Algabass Ag Intalla, leader of the Ansar Dine delegation (R) attends a meeting with representatives of Mali's Tuareg MNLA group as well as lead negotiator Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore on November 16, 2012 in Ouagadougou.

What you need to know:

  • A Tuareg warlord said his National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) had launched an "offensive" to retake the key north-central region of Gao from Islamist rebels
  • The fresh drive by Mali's neighbour Burkina Faso to find a negotiated solution to the crisis, which has effectively split Mali in two, came as plans by regional bloc ECOWAS to send troops into Mali gathered pace
  • A planned force, approved by the African Union, will comprise some 3,300 mainly West African troops. The plan must go before the UN Security Council by the end of the month

OUAGADOUGOU

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