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Tensions between Algeria and Mali, ambassadors summoned

Tensions between Algeria and Mali, ambassadors summoned
Algeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Attaf   -  
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The Malian ambassador to Algiers was summoned to the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday to discuss "the latest developments in the situation in the sub-Saharan country", the day after Bamako summoned the Algerian ambassador to Mali.

The head of Algerian diplomacy, Ahmed Attaf, reminded the Malian ambassador, Mahamane Amadou Maiga, "in a forceful manner, that historically, all Algeria's contributions to promoting peace, security and stability in Mali have always been based on three cardinal principles from which it has never deviated", according to a press release from the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

These principles are "Algeria's intransgressible attachment to the territorial integrity, sovereignty and national unity of Mali", "the peaceful path" to "guarantee peace in Mali" and "reconciliation (...) without exclusion".

On Wednesday, the Algerian ambassador in Bamako was summoned by the Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Algiers was accused of holding meetings with Tuareg separatists without involving the Malian authorities.

Bamako summoned the Algerian ambassador "to voice a strong protest" from Mali "following the recent unfriendly acts by the Algerian authorities, under the guise of the peace process", according to an official Malian press release.

In response, the head of Algerian diplomacy recalled that on 13 December, Algeria had issued a communiqué calling on "all the Malian parties to renew their commitment to the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement resulting from the Algiers process".

Algiers argued that recent meetings with the leaders of the signatory movements of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Mali resulting from the Algiers process were "perfectly in line with the letter and spirit" of this appeal. Mr Attaf called on the Malian government to "join Algeria's current efforts" to "give new impetus" to the peace agreement signed in Algiers in 2015.

Algeria shares around 1,400 km of borders with its southern neighbour. Mali, a poor, landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, was rocked by two military coups in August 2020 and May 2021.

This political crisis goes hand in hand with a serious security crisis that has been underway since 2012 and the outbreak of independence and jihadist insurgencies in the north.

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