Will ‘historic’ ceasefire help put Mali back together again?

by ptinti

CS Monitor

A new deal brokered between Mali’s government and ethnic Tuaregs by the EU and UN diplomats along with regional players may be a key first step.

Conakry, Guinea: After months of destabilization caused by war, Mali has signed a ceasefire with separatist Tuareg rebels who hold towns in the remote north – clearing the way for national elections to be held in July.

“The agreement provides for an immediate ceasefire, paves the way for the holding of presidential elections nationwide and commits the parties to discussing sustainable peace in Mali,” said a spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after 10 days of negotiations in nearby Burkina Faso.

Under the deal, Malian troops would gradually begin to occupy the northern stronghold of Kidal, now held by various Tuareg rebels groups.

Tension between Malian authorities and Tuareg rebels have been a lingering problem since the French Army intervened in Mali last January.

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