They warn of the impact of violence on the civilian population and call for “an international mobilization” to provide humanitarian aid
June 7 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The international mediation team on the 2015 peace agreement in Mali has stressed that there are “important aspects” that “have not yet been translated into action” and has stressed that it is “imperative to urgently relaunch” contacts, especially due to the impact of insecurity and violence on the civilian population in the African country.
Thus, the international mediators have applauded the “progress” registered to date and have reiterated that the agreement “is the cornerstone for achieving a lasting solution to the recurring crises that have affected the northern part of Mali and an essential element of the ongoing efforts to re-found the Malian state”. “The application of the agreements will greatly contribute to regional security and stability,” they argued.
In addition, they have shown their “deep concern” for the “unspeakable suffering caused” to the inhabitants of the Gao and Ménaka regions in the face of “the intensification of terrorist attacks and the increase in crime, as well as the forced displacement of important groups of population to other regions”, according to a statement published after the last round of contacts with the parties.
“We express our total solidarity with the populations of central Mali, equally affected by the scourge of terrorism and violence, as well as with the Malian people as a whole,” they said, while calling for “an international mobilization” to give the necessary humanitarian aid.
For this reason, they have stressed that “this situation highlights, if necessary, the imperative to urgently relaunch the peace process” and has stated that it “welcomes with satisfaction the willingness expressed by the parties to break the current deadlock through the dialogue and the peace process and to work together to reach consensual solutions that will make it possible to relaunch the application of the peace agreement”.
“We ask for an urgent agreement on the necessary guarantee measures” for the implementation of the points related to the institutional framework and those related to defense and security issues, as well as those linked to “socioeconomic development.” “It is imperative to implement all the pillars of the agreement, which represent an indissoluble whole”, they have argued.
Finally, they have said that they “take note” of the concerns expressed by the Coalition of Azawad Movements (CMA) –in which various Tuareg rebel groups are integrated– and the Platform –which brings together pro-government groups– in around the draft Constitution that the Malian military junta will submit to a referendum on June 18 and the need to include the clauses of the agreement in the text.
“We also take the position of the Government, in particular regarding the fact that no provision of the draft constitution prevents the implementation of the Peace Agreement and its express desire to comply with all the commitments assumed,” they have settled.
Tensions have risen in recent months between the military junta established after the coups of August 2020 and May 2021 and the Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP, according to its French acronym) — which includes former Tuareg rebels and members of pro-government militias– amid increased 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.