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Algeria rules out Mali split, foreign intervention: Report

Algeria urges dialogue as a bid to solve Mali's political crisis as the Tuareg rebel group declares independence of their so-called Azawad desert homeland

AFP, Friday 6 Apr 2012
A woman (R) sells vegetables at a stall in Dibidani Market in Bamako April 5, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 1975
Views: 1975

Algeria is opposed to Mali's break-up and wants dialogue to resolve the crisis with its southern neighbour, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia was quoting as saying Friday, warning against foreign intervention.

Algeria "will never accept questioning Mali's territorial integrity," Ouyahia told France's Le Monde newspaper on Thursday, before a Tuareg rebel group had declared the independence of their desert homeland they call Azawad.

"We want a solution through dialogue," Ouyahia said, also calling for constitutional order to be re-established in Mali in the wake of last month's coup.

A regional committee of chiefs of staff known as CEMOC and bringing together Algeria, Niger, Mali and Mauritania will meet soon, Ouyahia said.

"CEMOC is still active. It will meet in Nouakchott in the coming days," Ouyahia said, saying the presence of senior Malian military leaders at the meeting was "imperative" despite the coup.

Ouyahia mediated between the Tuaregs and Bamako during their first rebellion in 1991. The Algerian constitution forbids the deployment of its armed forces beyond it borders.

He said that any foreign military intervention would end up "losing control."

"The situation is very, very worrying. This is a major source of tension on our borders," he said, noting that Algeria's border with Mali was around 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) long.

"Every time that a foreign actor plays an essential role, it's bound to end up out of control, immediately or six months later."

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