UN Council urges Mali militants to join ceasefire accord

The UN Security Council on Wednesday urged armed groups in Mali to join a new ceasefire accord between the government and Tuareg rebels.

The 15-nation council welcomed the accord sealed on Tuesday in Burkina Faso between the transitional Malian government and Tuareg groups, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA).

The accord allows for the Malian army to move into the Tuareg held city of Kidal so that presidential elections can be held in July.

A Security Council statement said that both sides must "fully implement" the accord and also called on "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."

Mali is emerging from 15 months of conflict during which Tuareg groups and their former Islamist allies occupied the north of the country until a French military intervention in January.