Ceasefire in Mali must be respected ahead of peace deal

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Mongi Hamdi, SRSG of MINUSMA, earlier this year, in Bamako. Photo: MINUSMA/Harandane Dicko

Rebels in the north of Mali must cease hostilities and respect a ceasefire according to the UN's most senior official in the country.

A coup d'état in early 2012 continues to breed instability and violence in the West African country.

But there are hopes that a new peace deal will be signed next week.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

The UN says there has been a marked increase in insecurity in Mali as a result of more frequent clashes between armed groups.

But now rebels in the north are being encouraged to agree to a UN-brokered peace deal which is set to be signed on 15 May in the capital Bamako.

Mongi Hamdi is the head of the UN stabilization mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA.

He says violence must stop ahead of the peace deal.

"We are all concerned about the tension and insecurity in most parts of the north of Mali. We are all in agreement that all parties to this conflict must immediately cease hostilities, must respect the ceasefire agreement."

MINUSMA was established in April 2013.

One of its key goals is to support the national political dialogue and reconciliation.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 57"

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