Armed groups sign peace deal in Mali

Two armed factions in Mali accept peace deal after several weeks of negotiation

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Mali's desert north has struggled for stability due to rival armed factions.

Malian pro-government armed groups and former Tuareg rebels in northern Mali have said they agreed to a peace deal on Thursday to end fighting following days of negotiations.

Violence between the two factions broke out in August and September despite a peace deal in June earlier this year.

After three weeks of talks in the town of Anefis in northern Mali officials from both the two factions, the Tuareg-led Coordination of Movement Azawad and the government, told Agence France Presse they reached deal on a “pact of honour.”

"We have held direct negotiations between us. We finished the meeting this evening Thursday], everyone has made peace, starting with us, the Platform and the CMA," said Kidal Member of Parliament Ahmoudene Ag Iknass.

Boubacar Ould Hamadi of the CMA said, "The war is behind us. The Platform and the CMA have made peace, but other tribes or groups that had problems between themselves also made peace."

Both sides had been fighting to take control of Anefis in violation of the peace deal signed in May and June.

UN welcomes peace deal

The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, Minusma, welcomed the deal between the two sides.

Minusma said it was encouraged by the development "which constitutes a qualitative step in the process of inter-Malian peace."

"This advance adds to the progress that has been made since the completion of the signing of the agreement for peace and national reconciliation in Mali, reaffirming the resolute march towards a lasting and inclusive peace," it said.

The northern part of Mali fell under the control of Militants linked to Al Qaeda in spring 2012, with the country reeling from a military coup.

The militants were largely pushed back by a French-led military operation launched in January 2013 and since then have launched sporadic attacks from desert hideouts.

TRTWorld and agencies