The UN security council is expected to meet on Wednesday to discuss plans for a 3,300-strong regional Ecowas force to enter Mali, but it is unlikely any sort of military operation will begin before next September. Last week the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said military force may be required as a last resort, but stressed the importance of dialogue over war.
The militias are angry about the delay, and about the suggestion that Mali's government will offer the minority Tuareg separatists autonomy in exchange for joining the fight against al-Qaida-affiliated insurgents.
"There is nothing to negotiate with these criminals who killed people, who broke everything, who looted everything on the way," Maiga said.
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