Armed groups signatories to an important peace agreement in Mali deplore “with concern”, in a press release published on Sunday July 17, its “abandonment” by the current transitional authorities. The Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), an alliance of Tuareg and Arab nationalist groups from the north in rebellion against the central power, created in 2014 and then signatory of a peace agreement with Bamako in 2015, also claims to follow with ” great concern about the continued deterioration of the socio-political situation” in Mali.

The text was released after a meeting of the CMA in Kidal (north), Saturday and Sunday, in the presence in particular of the Malian administrative authorities and representatives of Minusma, the UN mission in Mali. The country has been the scene of two military coups in August 2020 and May 2021. The government has adopted a transition timetable to allow civilians to return to power in March 2024. But the political crisis goes hand in hand with a serious ongoing security crisis since the outbreak in 2012 of separatist and jihadist insurgencies in the north.

This violence, which has spread to central Mali as well as neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, has caused thousands of civilian and military deaths as well as hundreds of thousands of displaced persons. The CMA “condemns all forms of violence and terror exerted on the civilian population” and “deplores the absence of an appropriate response to this dramatic situation”, according to the press release. It “notes with concern the abandonment of the implementation of the [Algiers] agreement since the advent of the transition and reserves the right to draw all the consequences”.

A new leader

In a previous outing in March, the CMA had “regretted the complete lack of progress in implementing the agreement” under the transitional authorities. The Algiers agreement provides for the integration of ex-rebels into the Malian defense forces, as well as greater autonomy for the regions. It is considered crucial for stabilizing the country, but its application remains embryonic.

The meeting on Saturday and Sunday also marked a change at the head of the CMA, where Bilal Ag Acherif was replaced by Alghabas Ag Intalla, presented as close to the Malian Tuareg leader Iyad Ag Ghaly, leader of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel, linked to Al-Qaeda.