Mali, six armed groups agree to cease hostilities: Document

The Malian government agreed a deal with six armed groups Thursday to cease hostilities as part of UN-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending the crisis in the country`s north.

AFP| Updated: Feb 20, 2015, 02:37 AM IST

Algiers: The Malian government agreed a deal with six armed groups Thursday to cease hostilities as part of UN-sponsored peace talks aimed at ending the crisis in the country`s north.

The two sides agreed to "observe an immediate cessation of all forms of violence, and to refrain from any provocative acts or comments," according to a copy of the document.

The deal was signed in the presence of Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, along with Mongi Hamdi, the head of the 9,300-strong UN peace mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

It came during a fifth round of talks in Algiers that started Monday.

The aim of the talks is to bring peace to northern Mali, which remains unstable despite French and international military intervention against Islamist rebels launched in 2013.

The government and the armed groups committed themselves to "pursue negotiations in good faith and in a constructive spirit... to tackle the causes of lasting tensions," said the document.

The agreement also provides for "the continuation of the implementation of confidence-building measures, including the release of detainees."

Northern Mali was occupied in April 2012 by Islamists, who imposed a brutal rule before being driven out by French troops nine months later.