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Algiers, Bamako recommit to 2015 Malian peace deal

Algiers, Bamako recommit to 2015 Malian peace deal
Algerian Minister Sabri Boukadoum sits next to Colonel Major Ismael Wague Malian Minister of the National Reconciliation during a summit in Kidal on February 11, 2021.   -  
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Mali and its neighbor Algeria on Thursday (Apr. 27) said they wished to revive a 2015 peace deal between Bamako and northern Malian rebels that is more fragile than ever and raises fears of renewed violence.

In a joint statement on Thursday, Mali and Algeria said they wanted to relaunch the deal knon as the Algiers Accords.

"We have carried out a very precise, very rigorous examination of what is needed to ensure the effective and productive relaunch, via a political process protected from short-term turbulence," Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed said after talks Wednesday (Apr. 26) with junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita.

His visit comes after former Malian rebels went to Algeria in February for talks on how to end the impasse.

A leading rebel group that signed the 2015 agreement reacted caustically to prospects of getting the accord back on track.

"They have to stop sliding further into denial (and) acknowledge the situation is spiralling out of control," Ag Mohamed Almou, a spokesman for the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), told AFP on Wednesday (Apr.26).

The peace agreement aimed at easing tensions in a region that exploded into violence in 2012 when Tuaregs mounted an insurgency against the central government.

Jihadists infiltrated the revolt and later took their campaign into central Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, killing thousands of people across the region and forcing millions to flee their home.

The 2015 agreement brought together the Tuareg rebels and the state in an deal that offered more local autonomy and the chance to integrate fighters into a state-run "reconstituted" army that would operate in the region.

But the agreement has only been partially implemented. In December, armed groups suspended their participation in deal pending the "organization" of a crisis meeting with the Malian government  "on neutral ground."

The Islamic State in the Great Sahara (ISGS) group has been gaining ground in northern Mali against a disparate constellation of rivals -- the al-Qaeda-linked Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), government troops and local Tuareg-dominated armed groups.

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