One wing of Mali's Ansar Dine rebel group has split off to create its own movement, saying that it wants to negotiate a solution to the crisis in Mali.
The declaration indicates that at least some of the members of the al Qaida-linked group are searching for a way out of the extremist movement in the wake of French airstrikes.
Former Ansar Dine leader Alghabass Ag Intalla said that the new group will be called the Islamic Movement for the Azawad.
Intalla said the group is looking for a "negotiated solution", adding that his men are willing to fight Ansar Dine.
An elected official from the desert town of Kidal said: "They are running for the exits."