United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for an immediate end to hostilities in northern Mali and expressed concern over ceasefire violations that have occurred in the country in recent days at a “critical moment” in the peace process to bring all parties to sign the draft peace agreement.
“The Secretary-General urges the parties to demonstrate their commitment to the peace process and adhere to their obligations under the ceasefire agreement of 23 May 2014, and the declarations of cessation of hostilities of 24 July 2014 and 19 February 2015,” said a statement released by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
According to the statement, on 27 April, Groupe Auto-défense Touareg Imghad et Alliés (GATIA) and Mouvement Arabe de l’Azawad – Plateforme (MAA-Platform) elements entered the town of Ménaka in the Gao region of Mali which, under ceasefire arrangements, is under the control of the Mouvement National de Libération de l'Azawad (MNLA).
Fighting continued in the vicinity of Ménaka yesterday and today, Coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad (CMA) elements attacked Malian National Guard quarters in the Timbuktu region killing two National Guards and one child.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali, Mongi Hamdi, and the UN Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) are said to be engaging with all parties to de-escalate tensions and encourage continued dialogue.
In recent years, Mali has been confronted by a crisis with serious political, security, socio-economic, humanitarian and human rights consequences. The crisis stems from long-standing structural conditions such as weak State institutions, ineffective governance, deep-seated feelings among communities in the north of being marginalized and the effects of environmental degradation, climate change and economic shocks.