Mali Insurgent Group Accepts Cease-fire but With Conditions

Somali women carry weapons during a demonstration organized by the islamist Al-Shabaab group which is fighting the Somali government in Suqa Holaha neighborhood of Mogadishu, on July 5, 2010. The demonstrators were carrying placards written with slogans against the African Union peace keeping force. AFP PHOTO / ABDURASHID ABIKAR (Photo credit should read ABDURASHID ABIKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
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The head of Mali’s top Islamic body says insurgent group Ansar Dine has accepted a proposed cease-fire.

Mahmoud Dicko, president of Mali’s Islamic High Council, told VOA’s French to Africa service on Sunday that he asked Ansar Dine for the truce and received a letter of acceptance from the group’s leader, Iyad Ag Ghali.

Dicko, in a phone interview, noted that Ghali’s letter included a line saying Ansar Dine “rejects whoever rejects Sharia.” It was not clear if Ghali was setting a condition for the cease-fire.

Ansar Dine was one of three Islamist militant groups that took control of northern Mali in 2012. The groups were ousted in a French-led military operation the following year, but have since continued to attack civilian, military and U.N. peacekeeping targets in the region.

The U.S. government named Ghali a “specially designated global terrorist” in 2013.

voa

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