Mali, Tuareg rebels agree to ceasefire

2015-02-19 20:35
Chadian troops prepare in the desert near Tessalit, northern Mali. (Kenzo Tribouillard,AFP)

Chadian troops prepare in the desert near Tessalit, northern Mali. (Kenzo Tribouillard,AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Algiers - Mali's government and an alliance of Tuareg-led northern rebels agreed to cease hostilities on Thursday to ease tensions during UN-sponsored peace negotiations aimed at ending decades of uprisings.

The talks hosted by Algiers, the fifth round of recent negotiations, must now turn to the tricky questions over identity, a form of limited self-rule and more rights for the northern desert region the rebels call Azawad.

Western governments are keen for a lasting peace in Mali, fearing Islamist militants will again profit from the unrest in the north to gain a foothold, two years after French troops intervened to drive them out.

UN Mali mission chief Mongi Hamdi has said he expects this to be the last step to a final peace agreement. But talks have been hampered by fighting on the ground and differences over how to devolve powers, and even the name of the north.

Thursday's deal, which calls for an immediate halt to hostilities and provocations, was signed by the rebel coalition, including Tuareg MNLA and Arab MAA groups as well as the Mali government and a pro-Bamako alliance.

"This is an advance in building confidence and consolidating a ceasefire on the ground," Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra told reporters at the signing ceremony.

MNLA leader Bilal Ag Acherif said the document should facilitate talks in "good faith" between the parties.

Bamako and rebel groups agreed last year to a preliminary roadmap set out for talks. A UN initial document recognises Mali's unity and territorial integrity, but also the need for more rights and development for the north.

Read more on:    mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.