Mali pro-government militia refuse demands by int'l peace deal monitoring group to leave town

A government-allied militia in Mali says it won't follow demands by an international peace monitoring group to leave a northern town that it took from separatists last week.

Fihroun Maiga, spokesman for the militia, said Friday that if they leave and the army does not come in, the Tuareg separatist group that previously occupied the town of Anefis will return. Maiga said there is little the United Nations can do to get them to leave.

GATIA militia members chased Tuareg separatists from Anefis on Aug. 17. Fighting between the groups from Aug. 15-17 broke a peace accord signed in June by the government, allied militias and separatists.

An official peace monitoring group on Thursday demanded GATIA leave Anefis, located about 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of the city of Kidal.