Mali Peacemaking In Danger After Rebel Attack Near Timbuktu – U.N.

05-20-2014Kidal_Mali

Tuareg rebels shot at peacekeepers outside the city of Timbuktu in northern Mali on Tuesday in an attack that endangers the United Nations-brokered peace process, the U.N. mission in the West African country said. Reuters report:

In another northern town, Menaka, fighting erupted anew as separatists sought to wrest it back from pro-government armed groups who had seized it the day before, the rival groups said.

Mongi Hamdi, U.N. special envoy in Mali, said the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), which combines various Tuareg and Arab separatist groups, claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s attack on U.N. peacekeepers on Timbuktu’s outskirts. “Early this morning near Timbuktu, MINUSMA vehicles were targeted by the CMA. There are no victims. The CMA says it was a mistake and is calling for the departure of the army,” Hamdi said in a statement.

Malian government forces also came under gunfire outside Timbuktu, a Malian soldier and a local resident said. “Some National Guard positions were targeted from a distance by armed men aboard vehicles,” said the government soldier, who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media.