Mali pro-government militia agrees to leave town after president intervenes

A government-allied militia in Mali says it will leave a northern town it occupied earlier this month following clashes with Tuareg separatists.

Fihroun Maiga, spokesman for the Platform militia coalition, said Sunday that militiamen would comply with a request from President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to leave the town of Anefis. On Friday, Maiga had insisted they would stay in the town to prevent the separatists from returning, flouting the demands of an international peace monitoring group.

Fighting broke out on Aug. 15 between militia members and the main Tuareg separatist group. Clashes on Aug. 17 pushed the separatists from Anefis, located about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) northeast of Bamako, Mali's capital.

Mali's United Nations peacekeeping mission on Saturday issued a statement praising the president's intervention in the dispute.