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They describe the talks, which come after the UN approved the withdrawal of MINUSMA, as “very productive”.
July 4 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The former Tuareg rebel groups operating in northern Mali have shown “calm” regarding the peace process after a meeting with the Russian ambassador in Bamako, Igor Gromiko, after the United Nations Security Council approved the withdrawal. of the ‘blue helmets’ deployed in the country, at the request of the military junta led by Assimi Goita.
“We have met with the Russian ambassador in Mali,” said Attaye ag Mohamed, a spokesman for the rebel groups. “The discussions have addressed various issues and concerns and have been very productive and reassuring,” he said.
Thus, Ag Mohamed has specified in a message on his account on the social network Twitter that the meeting has been held “on behalf of the Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP, according to its acronym in French)”, which includes the signatory groups of the agreement of peace reached in 2015 in Algeria.
Former Tuareg rebel groups had previously warned that the withdrawal of the ‘blue helmets’ from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) could harm the peace process, which has suffered several setbacks in recent months.
The deterioration of security due to the increase in attacks by jihadist groups has called into question the ability of the Malian Army to face the threat, especially after the withdrawal of MINUSMA. Bamako is supported by mercenaries from the Wagner Group deployed to support security operations.
In this context, the international mediation team on the 2015 peace agreement in Mali stressed in June that there are “important aspects” that “have not yet been translated into action” and stressed that it is “imperative to urgently relaunch” contacts, especially because of the impact of insecurity and violence on the civilian population in the African country.
Tensions have risen in recent months between the military junta established after the coups of August 2020 and May 2021 and the CPS — which includes former Tuareg rebels and members of pro-government militias — amid increasing insecurity due to attacks by jihadist groups.
In fact, the groups that make up the CSP announced in February the start of a joint operation against the Islamic State to “demonstrate that the signatory groups are present and that the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM) –a branch of Al Qaeda in the region– is not an alternative.”
The CSP announced at the end of December the suspension of its participation in the peace agreement and requested an international mediation process in a neutral place in the face of what it described as a lack of will on the part of the junta to comply with what was agreed in Algiers in 2015, which it meant that the Tuareg separatist groups became part of the Armed Forces, a ceasefire was sealed and it was proposed to give more powers to the northern part of Mali.