African news explained

Mali moves closer to split with north

Audio 06:03
Reuters/Luc Gnago

In Mali, Tuareg and Islamist rebels have said they will join forces to create a new Islamic state in the north of the country. The declaration brings Mali a step closer to breaking up. The Economic Community of West African States, Ecowas, opposes the creation of an independent state and says it will use force to ensure the territorial integrity of Mali. But the question remains over when and how Ecowas would actually intervene? RFI spoke to David Zoumenou, a researcher at South Africa's Institute of Security Studies.