Protesters in Mali's north demand prisoner release

AP News
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Posted: Aug 06, 2013 11:33 AM

KIDAL, Mali (AP) — Protesters in the remote north Malian town of Kidal are demanding the release of imprisoned Tuareg separatist rebels.

Rhissa Ag Abidine, who took part in Tuesday's march, said the rebels are still being held in Mali's capital despite a peace accord that called for them to be freed.

The demonstration is the latest sign of unrest in Kidal as a presidential runoff election looms on Sunday. Voter participation in Kidal was dismally low during the first round of voting last month.

A spokesman for the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, Moussa Ag Assard, said the protesters also want the Malian army to leave Kidal.

A Tuareg rebellion in January 2012 led to Malian soldiers fleeing the area. They returned last month though their presence remains unpopular.