BAMAKO, Mali, April 28, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — In light of the dangerous developments on the ground in Ménaka yesterday and in Timbuktu today, the SRSG and Head of MINUSMA, Mr. Mongi Hamdi, expresses his great concern regarding the peace process that was begun more than a year ago to resolve the Malian security crisis in a lasting and peaceful way.
“Early this morning, near Timbuktu, MINUSMA vehicles were targeted outside the city by the CMA. There were no casualties. The CMA have indicated to us that this was an error on their part, and demand the departure of FAMa,” the SRSG said. “These two events are extremely worrying as they endanger the peace process. We are currently establishing the facts,” he added.
The ceasefire agreements signed by the parties foresee that they stay in their positions during the negotiations and that they abstain from any action – direct or indirect – that would undermine the prospects for peace. MINUSMA, which is completely impartial, insists that these commitments be respected by all.
“The MINUSMA teams on the ground and in Bamako are completely committed to ending this very worrying spiral of tensions as quickly as possible. We are in contact with the Plateforme, the Coordination and the Government of Mali to achieve a return to calm as soon as possible. I therefore reiterate my appeal for calm to give dialogue and peace a chance. I regret the turn of events, but I remain optimistic regarding the chances of seeing the peace process successfully concluded next month. There is no alternative to the signing of the peace agreement,” the SRSG concluded.