Northern Mali rebels, the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), have suspended participation in the Committee Monitoring the Peace Agreement (CSA) which was scheduled to meet on Monday in Bamako, local media have reported.
A spokesman for the rebels who was cited, said the withdrawal will continue until a pro-government militia pulls out of the regions that were initially occupied by CMA prior to the signing of the peace agreement in June 2015.
Last week, CMA members were chased away by the pro-government militia from their positions, especially in Anefis town, following heavy fighting in Kidal region.
“We received invitations to participate in different sub-committees of CSA but we have declined,” Almou Ag Mohamed, one of the CMA spokesmen, said on Monday.
He however said CMA was “ready to participate in an emergency meeting of the committee monitoring the peace agreement, but it has to exclusively focus on the situation prevailing on the ground.”
“I can tell you today that CMA is now operating under a different motif: that of defending itself and recapturing all its positions that are currently occupied by the pro-government militia in total violation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali,” Ag Mohamed continued.
“We just want to give a chance to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali and other guarantors of the accord to find a peaceful solution to this problem. Without this, CMA may be forced to resort to military action to recapture its positions,” the spokesman warned.
For some days now, international mediators have increased meetings with different parties to reduce tension in Kidal region. However, each of the protagonists seem to have maintained their hard-line position.
Speaking on a local radio station on Monday, the spokesman for the pro-government militia Haballa Ag Amzatal said “we shall not leave Anefis for the benefit of CMA. This will not happen if the disarmament and cantonment process that was envisaged in the peace agreement has not started.”
After the adoption of its internal governing rules, Monday’s CSA meeting was meant to choose committee members. Enditem