Mali’s army has accused a Tuareg rebel group of breaching a peace accord in the flashpoint northeastern town of Kidal, by attacking civilians and soldiers.
“The MNLA has mobilised women and children in Kidal to throw stones at the black population, African (peacekeeping) troops and Malian soldiers,” army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Diarran Kone said late on Sunday, referring to the Tuareg separatist National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).
“It’s a serious violation of the peace accord” signed on June 18 by the rebels and Mali’s transitional government, he added.
Kone stated that when Malian soldiers entered the Tuareg-held town on Friday, “demonstrators, manipulated by the MNLA, wounded three African soldiers of MINUSMA (the UN stabilisation mission in Mali) and stoned three Malian army vehicles, including an ambulance.”
The spokesman urged “impartial forces” — meaning the French army, which intervened in Mali in January to quell an Islamist insurgency in the north, as well as the UN troops in Kidal — “to speak out” against the breach of the peace accord.