Mali’s government signed a preliminary peace deal on Sunday meant to end fighting with northern separatists, but the Tuareg-led rebels asked for more time for consultations before agreeing to the accord. Reuters have more:
The United Nations-brokered deal seeks to tackle decades of uprisings and instability in northern Mali, where Western and regional powers worry Islamist militants could return two years after French military intervention drove them out.
“This accord is not intended to immediately resolve all the problems of a deep, multifaceted, cyclical crisis,” a declaration from the international mediation team said. “It is nevertheless a decisive step towards peace and reconciliation.”
Tuareg and Arab rebel groups, including the main groups, the MNLA and MAA, were at the signing ceremony in Algiers and said they would continue with dialogue and talk with their supporters in Mali.
Rebels had said the agreement, which is due to be formally signed in Mali later this month, did not fully address their political demands for the region they call Azawad. Several hundred protesters gathered on Saturday in the northern Malian town of Kidal to demand rebel negotiators refuse to sign the Algiers agreement.