AU Dismisses Northern Mali IndependenceWorld | April 6, 2012, Friday // 17:41| views
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The African Union Commission Jean Ping rejected on Friday a declaration of independence by Tuareg rebels in the north of Mali.
Earlier on Friday, Tuareg rebels of Mali's National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) have declared "the independence of Azawad", a region in the north of the country.
Ping firmly condemned the announcement, calling on the international community to reject the secession bid.
Ping also condemned the seizure of the Algerian consulate in Mali's northeastern town of Gao and called for the immediate release of the kidnapped diplomats.
French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet also commented on the Tuareg rebels' move, stating that a unilateral declaration of independence that is not recognized by African states means nothing for his country.
Mali has been in disarray ever since the 22 March military coup that ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure.
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