Image: VOA news

Mali’s Governor Sidi Mohamed Ag Ichrach returns to the desert city of Kidal for the first time in years as part of a ceasefire deal.

Rival armed groups Tuareg clans in Mali involved in remote desert battles since July on Wednesday agreed to sign a ceasefire deal giving the condition that the governor of Mali pays a visit to the desert city of Kidal.

The deal which was signed in the capital city of Bamako paved way for a ceasefire for an initial period of 15 days. The U.N. and Mali’s government helped broker it.

“We hope that his (Ag Ichrach’s) presence in Kidal will contribute to advancing the implementation of the peace agreement and addressing population’s needs,” a spokesman for the United Nations mission in Mali said.

Radhia Achouri said the truce had been agreed between CMA, an alliance of separatist groups seeking autonomy for a region of northern Mali, and Platform, their pro-government opponents.