Tuareg rebels in northern Mali are ending their military operations.
In a unilateral move, the secular separatist MNLA announced on their website that the liberation of the Azawad or independent northern territory was complete.
The fighting, they said, would stop from midnight on Thursday.
However the group has not been operating alone and nothing has been said by the Islamist fighters whose aim is to impose Sharia law across all of Mali.
In the capital in the south, the country’s military leaders have postponed today’s national convention organised to discuss a transition to civilian rule. Mali’s political parties and social groups had earlier said they were boycotting the talks.
Last month’s coup which ousted Mali’s president has thrown the country into chaos and attracted widespread condemnation of the junta.