Mali’s governmnet to probe ethnic rebel leaders, suggesting collapse of crucial 2015 peace deal

BAMAKO, Mali — Mali’s military government announced an investigation into ethnic rebel leaders who signed a peace agreement in 2015 to halt their quest for an independent state, a development experts said shows the crucial deal has collapsed.

The public prosecutor at the Bamako Court of Appeal ordered Tuesday night the probe into the Tuareg rebellion leaders who have accused the government of not complying with the agreement and attacked security forces in recent months, driving them out of northern Mali in an attempt to create the state of Azawad— which they call home.

The government in turn has referred to the rebels as a “terrorist group.”

In a televised written statement, the public prosecutor stated a division “specialized in fighting terrorism and transnational organized crime was to start an investigation against terrorist leaders” who signed the agreement eight years ago.

Key leaders of the Tuareg rebellion were named in the statement; Alghabass Ag Intalla and Bilal Ag Acherif, as well as leaders of the al-Qaeda-linked JNIM group, Iyad Ag Ghaly and Amadou Koufa.

For the last couple of months, some of the rebels have been abandoning the agreement, signaling a rise in tension between them and Mali’s junta.

Analysts have in the past warned that the fragile peace agreement — that had slowed violence over the years in the troubled region — may crumble.

“We can effectively say that the 2015 peace agreement has collapsed,” said Shaantanu Shankar, Country Analyst for Africa at the Economist Intelligence Unit

“The Malian junta is facing serious problems with Jihadi terrorism on one front and at the same time trying to fight an armed political movement and the rebels in the north, so the junta is overstretched,” he said.

Mali’s military recently seized control of the northern town of Kidal, dominated by the rebels for nearly a decade.

The military will focus on sustaining stability in the town as well as central and southern Mali which play a crucial role in the nation’s economy, said Shankar.

In 2015, the Tuareg rebel groups signed a peace deal with the government after other armed groups did, putting a halt to the fighting. The deal, at the time, was wleocmed by the United Nations.

The Tuareg rebellion in Mali’s far north has been a source of conflict for decades.

Associated Press writer Chinedu Asadu in Abuja, Nigeria contributed to this report.

Source link

You May Also Like

Hamas Leader Visits Cairo Amid Talks of a Gaza Ceasefire

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip — Hamas’ top leader traveled to Cairo on…

Russia to annex 4 occupied regions of Ukraine this week after

Kyiv — Russia confirmed on Thursday it will formally annex parts of Ukraine…

UN expert accuses Israel of ‘genocide’ in Gaza

Albanese says there are clear indications that Israel has violated three of…

7 dead in Turkish restaurant blast; gas leak suspected

ISTANBUL — An explosion at a restaurant in western Turkey killed seven…