Speaking today, Foreign Office Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said:
I welcome the announcement of the peace agreement signed in Ouagadougou last night between the Malian transitional authorities and groups representing communities in northern Mali, the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA) and High Council for the Unity of the Azawad. This agreement paves the way for more inclusive governance in Mali which will help build long-term peace and security in the region.
The agreement institutes a cease-fire and commits the signatories to working closely together to deliver successful and inclusive national presidential elections in July. In the longer term, it offers a basis for a comprehensive dialogue on a range of issues to build peace and stability, whilst respecting the country’s territorial integrity.
I call on all signatories to engage rapidly and in good faith to implement the contents of this agreement and to abide by its provisions. I urge all other armed groups in northern Mali that have no connections with terrorist and criminal groups to join this agreement, and to engage with the ongoing reconciliation process, including through the work of the National Commission on Dialogue and Reconciliation. I would like to thank the international mediators, and particularly the government of Burkina Faso, for their efforts in supporting these negotiations.
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