Separatists in northern Mali will suspend their participation in a committee that monitors a peace deal until tensions are reduced with pro-government militias, the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) said in a statement on Monday.
Fighting this month, when the Platform pro-government militias took the town of Anefis from the CMA, violated a U.N.-sponsored agreement signed in June between the two sides.
Mediators monitoring the June accord on Monday told all parties to uphold what was agreed and to free all prisoners of war to restore confidence in the peace process.
“We are going to suspend our participation in the work until stability returns on the ground,” the CMA’s Sidi Ould Ibrahim Sidatt. He said the group would inform the peace committee set up at the June talks at its meeting on Monday.
“It’s not just the situation in Anefis but the whole of the north because despite signing the peace accord we are not in a logic of peace but rather a logic of war. There are continual troop movements,” the statement said.
Mali, along with the U.N. mission (MINUSMA) and mediators, is trying to break a decades-long cycle of Tuareg uprisings, the most recent of which allowed Islamist groups, some linked to al Qaeda, to seize the desert north in 2012.