The peace pact signed on Tuesday in Ouagadougou, capital of neighboring Burkino Faso, was the result of ten days of intense negotiations. It provides for an immediate ceasefire and paves the way for countrywide presidential elections next month.
Under the deal, the rebels agreed to give up their fight for independence of the Azawad region in the country’s north, and accept Mali’s territorial integrity over the region. The agreement also requires the MNLA rebels to allow government troops to return to the northern town of Kidal, which they captured after a French-led offensive forced militant Islamists out of the town in January. Mali’s government had earlier threatened to seize Kidal by force if the rebels failed to agree to a peace deal.
For more on this story, visit: US Welcomes Mali Peace Deal.