The Armed Forces of Mali (FAMa) has deployed 'reconstituted' battalions that include former rebel soldiers to both Kidal and Timbuktu in the north of the country, the FAMa and United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) have reported.
A battalion arrived in Kidal on 13 February, becoming the first FAMa troops based in the city since Azawadi (Tuareg) rebels overran the city after the March 2012 coup in Bamako.
MINUSMA facilitated the deployment by escorting the FAMa battalion from Gao to Kidal and refurbishing Camp General Abdoulaye Soumaré, where it is now based.
It described the deployment as a "major step forward in the implementation of the peace agreement." The 2014 Algiers Accord stipulated that former rebel combatants would be integrated into the armed and security forces.
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