BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — An official with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali says more than 100 Chadian soldiers have left their positions in the northern Kidal province.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists, said Wednesday that between 130 and 160 soldiers had deserted their base in the town of Tessalit.
The soldiers, who complained about conditions in northern Mali, have now arrived in the city of Gao. A delegation from the Chadian military has arrived for consultations with the soldiers.
The Chadians were serving in the U.N. peacekeeping mission known as MINUSMA that is aimed at securing northern Mali after a French-led military intervention ousted radical jihadists from the region. Kidal is still home to a separatist rebel movement.