A government-allied militia has agreed to leave a northern Mali town it occupied earlier this month following clashes with Tuareg separatists, a move praised by the country’s United Nations peacekeeping mission as helpful for preserving a fragile peace accord.
The militia agreed to leave following the intervention on Saturday of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, said Fihroun Maiga, spokesman for the Platform coalition of militia groups.
On Friday, Maiga had insisted they would stay in the town to prevent the separatists from returning, flouting the demands of an international peace monitoring group.
The president “gave the order to leave Anefis without conditions and we are executing it,” Maiga said Sunday. He said militia representatives planned to take a helicopter from the northern town of Gao to Anefis to alert their fighters.