Fighting in northern Mali threatens peace deal

Pro-government militia and Tuareg rebels clash in northern town of Kidal, raising fears for a fraying peace agreement.

    Fighting between pro-government militia and Tuareg rebels has continued for a second consecutive day in northern Mali, raising fears for a fraying peace agreement. 

    The Gatia militia group and a coalition of five separatist rebel factions, known as the Coordination of Movements for Azawad (CMA), clashed on Thursday in the town of Kidal with "heavy weapons, including mortars", the UN Mission in Mali said in a statement on Friday.

    A Kidal resident told the Reuters news agency that fighting had erupted again in the early hours of Friday.

    Mali’s Tuareg fear famine

    "The sound (of gunfire) is more intense than yesterday," the resident said, asking not to be named for fear of reprisals from the armed groups.

    State of emergency

    Mali's north has been volatile since separatist rebel groups and later al-Qaeda associated fighters took control of the region in the wake of a military coup in 2012.

    A peace agreement signed last year by the government, its militia allies and the rebels was intended to ease tensions in the north and allow the army to concentrate on fighting armed groups.

    Talk To Al Jazeera: Peace process won't be derailed, says Mali's president

    The CMA and the pro-government militia had peacefully shared control of Kidal since February, and signed a truce mediated by the government of neighbouring Niger several days before the fighting broke out.

    There was no immediate information on what precisely caused the fighting in Kidal.

    The latest bout of violence erupted on the same day Mali declared a 10-day state of emergency and a three-day national mourning period after 17 Malian soldiers were killedand 35 others wounded in an attack on a military base in the town of Nampala in central Mali. 

    More than 250,000 orphans at risk in Mali

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.