Algeria calls for self-restraint in Mali

Algeria on Wednesday called on all parties in the conflict in Mali to practice self-restraint

Algeria on Wednesday called on all parties in the conflict in Mali to practice self-restraint

ALGIERS – Algeria on Wednesday called on all parties in the conflict in Mali to practice self-restraint, only hours after fighting erupted between the country's regular army and Tuareg rebels in the northern city of Kidal.

"Algeria calls for calm and self-restraint and urges all parties to avoid actions that might exacerbate tension and violence," Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra was quoted as saying by Algeria's official news agency.

Lamamra said his country denounced what he called the "unjustified killing" of Malian officials.

"Algeria feels sorry for the rise in violence in Mali," Lamamra said, adding that recent violence in the troubled West African country had already claimed numerous lives.

He said Algeria was doing its best to find a political solution to the crisis in northern Mali, stressing that his country was ready to offer assistance and encourage dialogue.

Algeria began mediating between the Malian authorities and Tuareg rebels in northern Mali weeks ago, before the two sidescame to blows earlier this week.

Heavy fighting has been reported in Kidal, where the Malian army is said to have launched an operation aimed at recovering facilities captured by Tuareg rebels on Saturday.

Tension erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a Tuareg rebellion that ultimately allowed Al-Qaeda-linked groups to take over half of the country.

Former colonial power France, for its part, sent troops to the country and – with the help of Chadian and other African forces – flushed the militants from northern Mali's main cities.

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