hirty Malian soldiers have been killed in the last four weeks in attacks perpetrated by the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) rebels, the Malian government revealed in a statement released on Thursday.
In total, CMA rebels have attacked over 15 towns and looted five localities in northern Mali, the statement said, adding that at least 13 civilians had been kidnapped during the same period.
The latest attack happened on Wednesday when CMA fighters allied to the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) occupied Tin Hamma region in Timbuktu, before they were repulsed by the Malian army.
The incident showed that despite the signing of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Bamako on May 15, 2015, CMA still wants to continue carrying out attacks in northern Mali.
CMA affiliated rebel groups which include MNLA, the High Council for the Unity of Azawad and the Arab Movement of Azawad did not sign the final document in Bamako.
In the latest attack, three civilians were killed and two shops looted, while two assailants were arrested by the Malian forces, the source added.
The CMA and the government allied movements in northern Mali which signed the Bamako peace agreement have denied responsibility for the recent upsurge of hostilities.
“The CMA is trying to achieve some military victories to force the Malian government to engage in fresh negotiations,” an African diplomat in Bamako who did not wish to be named told Xinhua.
The diplomat said there should be no more dialogue other than that aimed at implementing the peace agreement.
In an interview with a local newspaper which was published on Thursday, CMA, through Almou Ag Mohamed who is the spokesman for High Council for the Unity of Azawad, said “it will only sign the agreement after holding talks with the Malian government.”
On its part, the Malian government has vowed to start implementing the Bamako peace agreement.