Mali: UN condemns renewed clashes between armed groups in country’s north

22 July 2016 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), condemned the recent clashes in Kidal between forces of The Platform Movement and those of the Coordination of movements of Azawad (CMA), both of which are signatories to the country’s peace agreement.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson this evening, Mr. Ban condemned the fighting which erupted on 21 and 22 July between the two armed groups and deplored “this first violation of the ceasefire since September 2015, which occurred at a time when the stakeholders were progressing with the establishment of an interim authority in the northern regions.”

“He calls upon the leaders of the two signatory armed groups to restore calm and reminds them of their commitments and obligations with regard to the protection of civilians, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions and international law,” the statement continued.

At this crucial juncture in the peace process, the Secretary-General in his statement urged the signatory parties to take the necessary steps for the swift and full implementation of the peace agreement, including the immediate establishment of interim authorities and security arrangements.

In a press statement issued yesterday, the Mission said that heavy fighting erupted in the town of Kidal, in Mali’s restive northern region, in the late afternoon between elements of both signatory movements of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, adding that heavy weapons, including mortars, were used during the clashes.

“MINUSMA strongly condemns the clashes that constitute it as a violation of the existing cease-fire,” the Mission said, calling on those responsible for the fresh fighting to immediately end hostilities and to fulfill their commitments in accordance with all agreements signed by their respective movements.

The Mission also strongly deplored the fact that the fighting endangered the civilian population, indicating that it had taken steps to protect civilians and would use all necessary means to do so, in line with its mandate.

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