Monday, March 3, 2008

Mali seeks help from Algeria on border issues and Taureg hostages

From Reuters:
Mali wants neighbouring Algeria to tighten security on their Sahara desert border and help get Tuareg rebels to free 26 hostages, Mali's parliament speaker said in remarks published on Tuesday.

Tuareg fighters took dozens of Malian government soldiers hostage in a violent campaign that began in August 2007 and saw some of its heaviest fighting around the remote Malian garrison at Tin-Zaouatene on the Algerian border.

Malian parliament speaker Dioncounda Traore asked Algerian President Abdleaziz Bouteflika in a meeting this week to "influence" the rebels to free the detainees, top-selling Arabic-language daily El Khabar quoted him as saying in an interview on a visit to Algiers.

"We spoke of the problems of security and development in the frontier regions which are disturbed from time to time," Traore was quoted as saying.

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