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UN chief calls for halt to fighting in Mali

30 april 2015, 10:43

 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for an immediate halt to fighting in Mali, where government forces are battling Tuareg rebels, AFP reports.

Ban said he was concerned by the upsurge in violence at a critical time in efforts to clinch a peace deal.

The UN chief called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities in northern Mali" following "serious ceasefire violations" in recent days, according to a statement.

Tuareg rebel groups have clashed with Malian forces and pro-government militias in the north since Monday.

The Malian government and a coalition of armed groups known as the Platform have signed a peace accord, brokered by Algeria under UN auspices.

But another rebel alliance, known as the Coordination of Azawad Movements, or CMA, is refusing to sign on to the accord.

The UN has described the March 1 draft peace accord as a "historic opportunity" for Mali following the Islamist takeover in the north in 2012 that brought the country to the brink of collapse.

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