Can north Mali become an independent state?
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The African Union has called for the creation of a UN-backed force to intervene in Mali where Islamist militants and Tuareg rebels declared independence in the north. They have taken over half of the country and want to create an islamic state, the Islamic state of Azawad. But talks have stumbled over whether this new state should be ruled by islamic law. In a two part interview, RFI speaks to Andrew Lebowich, a policy analyst at the New America Foundation focusing on the Sahel region.