In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 and Radio France Internationale (RFI) Monday, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita acknowledged, for the first time, that his government had opened up a dialogue with senior jihadist leaders. Rebels captured a huge swathe of northern Mali in 2012, triggering a jihadist insurgency that has now spread to neighbouring countries in the transitional Sahel zone between the Sahara and the African savannah. […]
“Talking with jihadists and fighting terrorism is not contradictory,” said Keita. “I have a duty and a mission today to create all possible spaces and to do everything possible so that, by one means or another, some kind of appeasement can be achieved. It’s time certain avenues were explored,” he explained.
Keita acknowledged that his government had made contact with Iyad Ag Ghali – a prominent Tuareg figure and leader of the Ansar Dine jihadist group – as well as Amadou Koufa, leader of Katiba Macina, a group of predominantly Fulani ethnic fighters allied with Ansar Dine. Läs artikel