Mali PM to visit turbulent north

Malian Prime Minister Moussa Mara is expected to visit Kidal, a small town in northeastern Mali and the stronghold of ethnic Tuareg, as part of a tour in his country's conflict-scarred north.

Mali PM to visit turbulent north

World Bulletin/News Desk

Mara will be accompanied during his visit by European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and French Secretary of State for Development and Francophonie Annick Girardin.

The state-run French daily Le Soir said that the visit reflects the government attention to "concerns of the citizens" in northern Mali.

A delegation of U.N. peacekeeping forces in Mali arrived in Kidal on Wednesday to convince rebel Berber movements to welcome the prime minister, Malian media said.

Berbers refuse to receive government officials in their town before the government releases Berbers arrested during military showdowns with the Malian army in the past two years.

Tension erupted in this West African country in 2012 following a failed coup and a Tuareg rebellion, which at the end allowed Al-Qaeda-linked groups to take over half of the country.

Former colonial power France sent troops into the country and, with the help of Chadian and other African forces, chased the rebels out of northern Mali's main cities.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Mayıs 2014, 11:49