KIDAL, Mali (AP) — Burkina Faso's foreign minister is traveling to Mali to meet with the leadership of the radical Islamist group controlling the north of the country in an effort to mediate a solution to the crisis.
Mali's north was overrun by a mix of rebel groups including several allied with al-Qaida following a coup in the capital in March. Since June, the Islamists have exerted full control of the northern half of the country, and have imposed Shariah law, recently stoning an adulterous couple to death.
Foreign Minister Djibril Bassole is meeting in Kidal with Iyad Ag Ghali, the reclusive leader of Ansar Dine, the main Islamist group operating in the north. Ag Ghali is known to have ties to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the al-Qaida franchise operating in North Africa.
Bassole has already made a stop in Gao.