Now Tuareg rebel MNLA - after defeat to its former partner - Ansar Dine (Al Qaeda types) is now placing their bid lower and asking for external, international forces to intervene and save northern Mali (Azawad).
"We are seeking cultural, political and economic independence but not secession," Ibrahim Ag Assaleh, a senior member of the MNLA, told Reuters by telephone.
"It would be something like Quebec," he added, referring to the French-speaking province of Canada which is recognised as having a special status within the North American country.
A second MNLA official, Hama Ag Mahmoud, told Reuters in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott: “Independence has been our line since the start of the conflict but we are taking on board the view of the international community to resolve this crisis.”
The article’s following part shows - the idea of intervention (rebuilding Mali govt, sending in ECOWAS troops or mediators) lost its steam - stalling - for now. (Not getting anywhere with speed.)