File photo shows a fighter of the Coordination of Movements of Azawad on a pickup truck with a machine gun near Kidal, northern Mali. (Photo by AFP)
Clashes between armed groups have killed three people in northeastern Mali, a security source says, as the United Nations
condemned repeated ceasefire violations by the combatants.
Mali’s north is controlled in parts by armed groups loyal to Bamako and in others by former rebels who want greater autonomy for the region, while the state is absent from much of the territory.
“At least three people were killed on Thursday in clashes between the Platform and the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA),” a foreign security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The Platform is a coalition of pro-government militias, while the CMA represents the former rebel alliance which last mounted an uprising in 2012 that was hijacked by extremists, throwing the country into chaos.
A source close to the CMA described the clashes as tit-for-tat attacks that killed “several people,” but no Platform representative was available for comment.
The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, condemned “violations of the peace deal and Security Council resolutions,” referring to the 2015 accord signed by both sides.
File photo shows UN peacekeepers on patrol in Kidal, Mali. (Photo by UN.org)
Such clashes have regularly occurred between the former rebels and the Platform, which Annadif said would “sap the confidence of Malians and the international community as a whole in the good faith of the signatories … for a durable peace,” if they continued.
Several of the peace deal’s key planks have yet to be fully implemented, while extremists continue to roam the north and center of the country, despite being ousted from key northern towns by a French-led military intervention in 2013.
Meanwhile, former rebels still control the city of Kidal.