The Community of Sant'Egidio expresses its sorrow for the armed clashes on last Saturday in Kidal in northern Mali between government troops and members of the MNLA movement that resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries, and it also expresses its deep concern about the risk of a renewed conflict.
The Community of Sant'Egidio has asked those responsible for the MNLA (National Movement for Liberation of Azawad) to perform a gesture of reconciliation that would lead to the liberation of the 28 Malian soldiers and civil servants, taken prisoners during the fighting, and to the return of the Governor’s building of Kidal currently occupied by the MNLA military.
Last night the 28 prisoners were released and handed over to the UN peacekeeping forces in the area. Sant'Egidio has received from the MNLA leaders the commitment for an upcoming return of the Governor’s building. Sant'Egidio expresses its appreciation for such gestures of appeasement.
The Community of Sant'Egidio will continue to work to ensure that violence stops and that the parties, the government and the armed movements of northern Mali resume dialogue and negotiation on the basis of the agreements signed in Ouagadougou in June 2013.