Bamako (AFP) - Key provisions of a peace deal signed by the Malian government and ex-rebels in 2015 are finally due to be rolled out imminently, according to an official document obtained by AFP Friday.
Tuareg-led rebels led an uprising in 2012 that was hijacked by jihadists, throwing Mali into chaos and triggering a UN-French military intervention the following year, but the rebels later signed an accord without the Islamists.
The official document seen by AFP and under consideration Friday by the government, ex-rebels and pro-Bamako militias at a gathering in the Malian capital appeared to show a willingness to overcome several sticking points after months of limited progress.
Also present were Algerian foreign affairs minister Ramtane Lamamra, the United Nations' Mali special representative Mahamat Saleh Annadif and a French diplomatic representative.
Algeria helped to broker the peace deal and France is Mali's former colonial master.
"We are all attached to this accord, we do not see an alternative," Lamamra said at the opening of talks.
Interim authorities for the restive north where the uprising took place would be put into place between February 13 and 20, the document said, to allow the state the re-enter territory where it has been effectively absent.
The strategic city of Kidal is still entirely controlled by the former rebels.
These interim authorities will remain in place until the security situation permits full local government to be installed.
Another key component of the deal -- joint patrols between regular troops, pro-government militia and former rebels -- would be rolled out on February 20 in Gao and February 28 in Kidal, with Timbuktu following a week later.
An African diplomat present at the talks said the CMA had "given agreement for the peace process to restart on the condition of having a precise timeline on the key points."
The rebel alliance known as the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) signed the deal along with the government and loyalist militias with hopes of bringing stability to the north, the cradle of several Tuareg uprisings and a sanctuary for Islamist fighters.
Since then, rival armed groups have repeatedly violated the ceasefire, threatening attempts to give the north a measure of autonomy to prevent separatist uprisings.
Jihadists continue to sow chaos: just over three weeks ago almost 80 people were killed in the northern city of Gao by a suicide bomber targeting pro-government and ex-rebel militia preparing joint patrols in the area.