United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has 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 Ban’s spokesperson.
According to the statement, on 27 April, Groupe Auto-defense Touareg Imghad et Allies (GATIA) and Mouvement Arabe de l’Azawad – Plateforme (MAA-Platform) elements entered the town of Menaka in the Gao region of Mali which, under ceasefire arrangements, is under the control of the Mouvement National de Liberation de l'Azawad (MNLA).
Fighting continued in the vicinity of Menaka 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.