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article imageMalian Government signs peace treaty with Tuareg rebels

By Saunon Malek     Jun 19, 2013 in World
The Malian government has signed a peace treaty with the Tuareg rebels in Ouagadougou, following weeks of vigorous disputes. The ceasefire deal has helped pave the way for the West African country's reconstruction as well as its reunification.
Since the overthrow of Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22, 2012, Tuareg rebels had taken control of the entire Northern Region of Mali, and led government forces out of an area larger than the size of France.
The incursion granted Islamic extremists, such as the al-Qaeda-aided Ansar Dine guerrilla an advantage to topple the Malian government, which had been a long-aspired goal of theirs. As the rebels advanced, and the government faced distraught, France—Mali's former colonizer—launched an offensive against the militants earlier in January of 2013. The extremists were effectively driven out of the country, though "serious human rights breaches" including the killing of children, were reported by Amnesty International.
Following the expulsion of the Islamic militants, the Tuareg rebels were still "clinging" to the northern region in Mali, and the government was still determined to reclaim the occupied area, even through force if deemed necessary.
However this Tuesday, Tuareg and Malian delegations were finally able to reach a consensus by signing a peace treaty, and Mali's chief negotiator Tiébilé Dramé claimed, "...Malian territory is indivisible and that the state is secular.” The agreement also proclaimed the repositioning of government forces in northern Mali.
Also attending the ceremony, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius optimistically stated, "This agreement represents a major breakthrough in exiting the crisis in Mali."
Why the rebels decided to finally yield to the government is a question which we may not have an answer to, but Mr. Dramé ponders a likely assertion; "I think they saw that things were not going in their favor.”
More about Mali, Tuareg, Peace treaty, Islamists
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