World Bulletin/News Desk
Three rebel Azawad groups in northern Mali agreed Friday to a ceasefire deal with the central government in Bamako after mediation by Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the African Union (A.U.).
The signatories to the agreement are the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA) and the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA).
Abdel Aziz, who arrived in Kidal in northern Mali earlier Friday, met with a group of Azawad’s Tuareg rebel leaders in a camp belonging to the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), a source from the mission said.
The city has been the scene of heavy fighting as the army was said to have launched an operation to recover facilities captured by Tuareg rebels on Saturday.
Mali's Defense Ministry has said that at least 36 people were killed and 87 injured during Saturday's clashes.
Abdel Aziz, arrived in Bamako on Thursday, where – during talks with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Prime Minister Moussa Mara – he offered to mediate between the government and the rebels.
Turmoil erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup attempt and a Tuareg rebellion that ultimately allowed Al-Qaeda-linked groups to take over half of the country.
Former colonial power France later sent troops to Mali and, with the help of Chadian and other African forces, flushed the Islamists from northern Mali's main cities.Last Mod: 24 Mayıs 2014, 11:31