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Mali: disarmament key to peace process

Mali: disarmament key to peace process


Mali needs to implement the peace agreement that was signed in 2015 and launch the disarmament process “to stabilize” the country, the Administrator of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark said on Tuesday.

“For the stabilization of Mali and for it to consolidate the peace agreement, it must apply and engage the DDR process (disarmament, demobilization and reintegration). It is not easy but (…) it can be done, “said Ms. Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand on the the last day of a visit that began Sunday in the country.

The agreement, also called “Algiers Agreement”, was concluded after months of negotiations in the Algerian capital.

It was signed in May 2015 by the Malian government, rival pro-government armed groups, and in June 2015 by the Tuareg rebel groups dominant in the north.

It aims to establish a lasting peace in the vast regions of Mali that has experienced a series of rebellions from the Tuareg since the early years of its independence in 1960.

In 2012, Mali’s north fell under the control of jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda who imposed a brutal interpretation of sharia law on the region, with the country reeling from a military coup.

The Islamists were largely ousted by an ongoing French-led military operation launched in January 2013, although they still launch sporadic attacks on security forces from desert hideouts.