March 6, 2015 / 11:49 AM / 3 years ago

Mali delays local elections over insecurity in the north

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali has postponed local and regional elections scheduled for next month because insecurity in the country’s north has held up the revision of voter rolls, a government official said.

Nearly two years after a French-led operation pushed al Qaeda-linked rebels from towns in the north, remnants of Islamist militant and separatist groups continue to launch sporadic attacks in the area.

The deployment of a 10,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission helped allow presidential elections to go ahead in 2013. The postponement of the local elections is the second time they have been pushed back.

“The postponement of communal and regional elections is confirmed. There’s no precision of the date, but it will be October 25 at the latest,” Alhousseny Toure, a spokesman for the ministry of territorial administration, said late on Thursday.

The decision was taken following consultations with opposition parties which had lobbied for the delay.

Reporting by Adama Diarra; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Andrew Roche

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