Mali jihadists continue to draw strength from delays in applying a peace deal signed in June 2015 by rival factions.
According to an army chief, the delays have paved way for Islamist militants backed by Al Qaeda to carry out a spate of attacks in the region.
“The (security) situation is complicated by the lack of control and clarity on the movements of armed groups who signed the peace deal due to multiple delays in the implementation of DDR (Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration),” said General Didier Dackouo, the army’s number two official.
The (security) situation is complicated by the lack of control and clarity on the movements of armed groups
This is despite French forces driving the militants from major urban centres in 2013.
An alliance of armed rebels and the Malian government signed a peace deal last year to end years of conflict under a 2012 uprising after the country fell into a coup.
Jihadist armed groups still represent the main threat, carrying out a series of attacks.
Recently, armed men kidnapped a Swiss woman from her home four years after she was abducted from the same house by Islamist militants.
Over the years, several foreigners have been kidnapped by Islamist militants in the West African country.
To complicate matters, a veteran jihadist called for a return to sharia law in the north part of the country at a meeting attended by hundreds of local residents
Mali’s desert north has struggled for stability since attaining independence in 1960.
The UN sent peacekeepers to the country in 2013 to guard against militants.