Former allied rebels who signed a peace deal with the Mali government in 2015 have expressed dismay at what they call a “rejection” of the pact by a junta-led government set up in the aftermath of a coup nearly two years ago.
In a statement Sunday, the Coordinating Movements of the Azawads (CMA), a coalition of Tuareg and Arab nationalist groups from the desert north, also warned of a “continuing deterioration in the socio-political situation” in Mali.
An uprising against Bamako authorities erupted in northern Mali in 2012 in the wake of jihadists and rebel splinter groups.
In 2014, the CMA was formed, and a year later, a peace and reconciliation agreement was signed in Algeria with the government of Mali.
The CMA statement follows a meeting of alliance members on Saturday and Sunday in the northern city of Kidal, which was also attended by the Malian administrative authorities and representatives of the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
The rebels have also protested attacks on civilians in a poor, landlocked country that has plunged into political turmoil, including successive coups in August 2020 and May 2021.
The government has adopted a timetable for a return to civilian rule in 2024, but political upheaval goes hand in hand with a security crisis.
The brutal attacks that have spread to central Mali and neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger have resulted in thousands of civilian and military deaths and the displacement of hundreds of thousands.
The CMA “condemns all forms of violence and terror against the civilian population (and) regrets the lack of an appropriate response to this dramatic situation,” the statement said.
It “notes with concern the failure to implement the (Algiers) Agreement since the transition and reserves the right to draw all necessary conclusions.”
Back in March, the CMA said it regretted the “complete lack of progress” in the implementation of the agreement by the transitional authorities.
The Algiers agreement provides for the integration of former rebels into the Malian defense forces, as well as greater autonomy for the country’s regions.
Many analysts see the deal as crucial to stabilizing Mali, but its application remains in its infancy.
The weekend meeting also saw a change in leadership of the CMA.
Bilal Ag Asherif was replaced by Algabas Ag Intalla, presented as close to Iyad Ag Ghali, the Tuareg leader of the Islam and Muslim Support Group (GSIM), the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel and who is linked to al-Qaeda.