OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso: A delegation from a militant group controlling northern Mali is in Burkina Faso for talks with mediator President Blaise Compaore.
Alghabass Ag Intalla, a top official of the radical group Ansare Dine, told The Associated Press yesterday that he is in Ouagadougou as the head of a delegation meeting with Compaore, who has been appointed by the Economic Community of West African States to mediate in the Mali crisis.
Compaore is working to negotiate a resolution to the problems caused by the militants’ separation of northern Mali from the rest of the country.
Ansar Dine’s talks with Compaore come as France heads an international effort planning a military intervention to end the militants’ occupation of northern Mali. Ansar Dine is the most powerful of the groups that have seized control of northern Mali, including city of Timbuktu.
Burkina Faso has been trying to negotiate with the militants in northern Mali for a few months. In August Foreign Affairs Minister Djibrill Bassole travelled to northern Mali cities of Gao and Kidal, which are controlled by militants. In Kidal, the Burkinabe minister met with the leader of Ansar Dine, Iyad Ag Gali. The Burkina Faso envoy urged Ansar Dine to distance itself from other terrorist groups operating in northern Mali.