UNITED NATIONS, June 19 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Wednesday welcomed the signing of a truce accord by the Malian government and rebels on Tuesday, calling on all signatories of the agreement to "fully implement its provisions."
"The members of the Security Council welcome the signing in Ouagadougou on 18 June 2013 of a 'Preliminary Agreement to the Presidential Election and the Inclusive Peace Talks in Mali' between the transitional authorities of Mali and the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA)," said a press statement issued here late Wednesday.
The accord, reached after 10 days of tense negotiations in the capital of Burkina Faso, will enable Malian troops to enter the rebel-held city of Kidal in the northeast of the West African country to secure presidential elections scheduled to take place on July 28.
Long-term peace talks will start after the election.
"The members of the Security Council note that this Agreement reaffirms the sovereignty, territorial integrity, national unity and secular nature of the Malian State, provides for an immediate ceasefire, paves the way for the nationwide holding of presidential elections and establishes a framework for inclusive talks with all communities of the north of Mali, and as such constitutes an important step towards lasting peace and stability in Mali," the statement said.
"The members of the Security Council commend in this regard the mediation efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) led by the president of Burkina Faso and the president of Nigeria, with the support of the special representative of the United Nations secretary-general, the African Union High Representative and the Special Representative of the European Union," the statement said.
"The members of the Security Council call on all signatories of the Agreement to fully implement its provisions, with the support of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), the African Union and ECOWAS," it said.
"The members of the Security Council call on those armed groups in northern Mali that are not signatories to the Agreement, and that have cut off all ties with terrorist organizations, to unconditionally commit to all the provisions contained therein," the agreement added.
Negotiations opened on June 8 to iron out differences between the rival sides ahead of the planned election in July to end the crisis since a military coup on March 22 last year.
Besides disarmament of the armed rebels in identified sites, the Malian parties also agreed that the Malian army will be progressively deployed in Kidal under the joint watch of the International Support Mission for Mali and the United Nations International Support Mission for Mali.
The deployment of Mali's security forces in this locality will be done "without further delay" and the parties agreed to end hostilities with a cease-fire that came into force on the date of signing the agreement. They also agreed to end attempts to occupy new positions.
The parties equally agreed that the rebels will remain with their weapons as they await to be placed in identified camps, because the mediators and Mali's partners were of the view that disarmament is part of the Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration process.
In April, the UN Security Council approved the 12,600-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation, known as the MINUSMA, to take over in Mali on July 1 for an initial period of 12 months.
The main task of MINUSMA is to support the political process in Mali, in coordination with the African Union (AU) and the ECOWAS.