UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed Saturday the signature, earlier today, of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali by the Coordination coalition of armed groups in Bamako.
“The Secretary-General notes that signature by all parties paves the way for the full and timely implementation of the Peace Agreement. The ultimate responsibility for peace lies with Mali and the Malians, and [he] urges all parties to continue to work in good faith to advance progress, and to fully implement the provisions of the ceasefire,” reads a statement made available by the UN Spokesperson.
Mr. Ban congratulates the Malian parties and the Algeria-led Mediation team for their efforts “to bring the signing process to a successful completion.” The Agreement had already been signed by the Government of Mali and the Platform coalition of armed groups on 15 May.
The statement reiterates that the United Nations stands ready to support the parties in the implementation of the Agreement, in close cooperation with the Government and members of the international Mediation team.
“The Secretary-General encourages all partners of Mali to assist efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace in the country, including through the provision of support for the implementation of the agreement.”
Despite positive developments on the ground, the situation in Mali has long remained a challenge. The country's Government has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild following a series of setbacks since early 2012, including a military coup d'état, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical Islamists. In addition, the country has been consumed by a series of humanitarian crises.
Throughout much of this time, Mali's north has remained restive and, in recent months, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) and its “blue helmets” have come under repeated violent attack.
Yesterday, the Platform armed groups announced their decision to withdraw from the town of Menaka, in the region of Gao, in accordance with the arrangements for a cessation of hostilities.