Mali rebels confirm refusal to sign peace deal

2015-04-22 14:55
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Bamako - Mali's Tuareg-led rebellion reaffirmed in a statement on Wednesday its refusal to sign a peace deal agreed by other armed groups and the government, and due to be rubber stamped on 15 May.

The UN Security Council has urged the main Tuareg rebel alliance, known as the Co-ordination for the Movements of Azawad (CMA), to initial the deal along with the other parties or face sanctions.

But the Co-ordination, which has already stated it could not accept the accord without "amendments", reiterated its position, saying it "shall not commit" to the document in its current form.

The United Nations has described the 1 March peace accord as a "historic opportunity" for Mali following the Islamist takeover in the north in 2012 that brought the country to the brink of collapse.

Geographic, political and juridical entity

The Malian government and a coalition of armed groups from the north known as the Platform have signed the document, brokered by Algeria under UN auspices over the past eight months.

But the CMA has said it will not sign without an amendment recognising "Azawad", the name used by the Tuareg for the northern part of Mali, as a "geographic, political and juridical entity".

A delegation of international and African diplomats who came to Kidal, the Co-ordination's northern stronghold, on 17 March rejected the demands, as did the Bamako government.

The CMA "reaffirms its commitment to respect the ceasefire of 23 May 2014 signed in Kidal and the declaration of cessation of hostilities of July 24 2014 in Algiers", Wednesday's statement added.

Read more on:    un  |  mali  |  west africa

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