Mali Army Symbolically Returns to Rebel City

The Malian army redeployed to the city of Kidal, Thursday, February 13, a rebel stronghold.
READ MORE: Malian troops have begun deploying to the key northern town of Kidal, a senior army official said Monday, returning to an area that has long been a symbol of the government's lack of control over the north.

The official, who requested anonymity, said soldiers had left the northern city of Gao and were on their way to Kidal. "There is no problem for now," he said.

Rebels captured much of the West African state's north in 2012, including Kidal, triggering a war that has since been taken over by jihadists and spread to central Mali, neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

The return of Malian troops to Kidal is considered a key component in implementing the 2015 Algiers peace agreement, struck between the government in Bamako and some rebel groups.

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