West Africa bloc: Rebels must end Mali attacks

AP News
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Posted: Mar 20, 2012 1:11 PM
West Africa bloc: Rebels must end Mali attacks

A West African regional bloc has called on Tuareg rebels to end their attacks in Mali.

A statement Tuesday by the Economic Community Of West African States said the Tuareg group called the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad should take advantage of peace talks offered by Mali. The bloc said it would try to mediate between the government and the rebel group.

The bloc also called for international humanitarian aid for Mali. Its message came after a fact-finding ECOWAS mission to Mali.

The Tuareg rebel group is fighting for independence of Mali's north. Dozens of fighters have been killed on both sides and the United Nations says that more than 100,000 civilians have been forced to flee the fighting.