Mali’s junta ignored a Tuesday deadline set by its neighbours to quit power, instead they repeated an offer to hold open-ended talks on Thursday to discuss a deal on a future transition to civilian rule.
But as they talked, Tuareg rebels made further territorial gains in their quest for a northern homeland.
The junta leader Amadou Sanago said that Thursday’s talks would be accepted by everyone and put an end to political rows so they could meet the security challenge in the North.
Despite Tuareg promises not to venture south their campaign is continuing . Fleeing Mopti residents believe the rebels have the capital Bamako in their sights.
For Malians its a time of chaos and hardship; the junta has been condemned by its neighbours who have closed Mali’s borders making imports of food and fuel impossible for the landlocked country.
That coupled with the advancing Tuareg rebels who are joined by Islamists bent on imposing sharia law, the future looks uncertain.