Mali militants seek peace after UN backs force

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The al-Qaida-linked group that controls much of northern Mali and other rebels agreed Friday to cease hostilities in the areas they control, a day after the United Nations backed a regional plan to oust the Islamists from power in a military intervention next year.
Ansar Dine, which controls the northern cities of Timbuktu and Kidal, and a secular rebel group known as the NMLA made the concessions following talks in neighboring Algeria.
The two groups vowed „to refrain from all actions that would cause confrontation and hostilities in the areas that they control.“
They also vowed to work to free hostages in northern Mali, where al-Qaida’s North Africa branch has made millions of dollars through ransoms and is currently holding seven French nationals captive.

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