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



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