Mali Rebels Reaffirm Refusal to Sign Peace Accord

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Mali’s Tuareg-led rebellion has reaffirmed in a statement on Wednesday(22nd of April) its refusal to sign a peace deal agreed by other armed groups and the government and due to be rubber stamped on May 15.

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

But the Coordination, 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 March 1 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.

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

But the CMA has said it will not sign without an amendment recognizing “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 Coordination’s northern stronghold, on March 17 rejected the demands, as did the Bamako government.

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

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