Conditions 'ripe' for peace in northern Mali

2014-06-17 07:42


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Algiers - Armed groups from northern Mali are ready to launch peace talks with Bamako to put an end to the instability plaguing the region, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said on Monday.

His comments, at a meeting of foreign ministers from six Sahel countries, came after three armed movements from northern Mali announced in Algiers that they were ready to work for peace with the central government.

"The conditions are increasingly ripe for progress towards peace," Lamamara said, adding that there was a "very clear desire among the senior leaders of the movements in northern Mali to work for peace."

Algeria, which has a long porous border with Mali criss-crossed by jihadist movements, is helping to mediate in the conflict affecting its southern neighbour.

The Algiers meeting has brought together representatives from Mali, Niger, Burkino Faso, Mauritania and Chad, as well as Bert Koenders, the head of the UN peacekeeping force in Mali, and Pierre Buyoya, the African Union's representative for Mali and the Sahel.

It follows talks in the Algerian capital among leaders of ethnic Tuareg and Arab groups who have campaigned since the 1960s for independence for a vast swathe of northern desert they call "Azawad".

Dialogue and willingness

On 9 June, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA) and the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) signed the "Algiers Declaration", an accord demanding "inclusive" peace talks.

After flying into Algiers, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop reiterated the "firm willingness" of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita "to advance the process of peace, dialogue and reconciliation in order to reach a definitive peace accord as soon as possible".

In January 2012, Tuareg fighters began the first rebellion in three years in northern Mali and formed an alliance with Islamists linked to al-Qaeda, who sought to impose a brutal interpretation of Islamic law in towns they controlled.

The Islamists militants gained the upper hand over the Tuaregs in several towns before military intervention by former colonial power France in January 2013, which helped drive the armed extremists to desert hideouts.

The MNLA allied itself with the army to fight Islamist forces.

Representatives of the tribes in northern Mali previously held "exploratory consultations" in Algiers in January, while a ceasefire was signed with the Bamako government on 23 May.
Read more on:    tuaregs  |  al-qaeda  |  mali  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.