UPDATE: The deal has broken down.
The “secular” Tuareg unite with Islamic supremacists to create a Sharia state in the new state of Azawad. “Mali rebel groups unite to create new Islamist state,” from AFP, May 27 (thanks to David):
AFP – Tuareg rebels and the Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine announced Saturday they are joining forces and creating a body to rule northern Mali as an independent Islamic state.
“The Ansar Dine movement and the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (Tuareg MNLA) proclaim their dissolution in Azawad (northern Mali),” the two groups said in an agreement sent to AFP.
“The two movements have created the transitional council of the Islamic state of Azawad,” said the groups, which have been controlling the area for the past two months, in their “protocol agreement”.
“We are all in favour of the independence of Azawad,” they said, adding that “we all accept Islam as the religion.”…
“Allah has triumphed,” declared Sanda Ould Bouamama, an Ansar Dine spokesman in the northern Malian desert city of Timbuktu….