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Algeria expresses concern after Mali scraps peace deal with separatists

Algeria on Friday expressed “many regrets and deep concern” after neighbouring Mali’s military rulers scrapped a 2015 peace deal with separatist rebels that it had mediated. Jihadist and separatist revolts have rocked Mali since 2012 and Algeria was the main mediator in the peace agreement signed by the government and mainly Tuareg armed groups in Algiers. But the Sahel state’s military rulers on Thursday ended the deal, seen as vital for stabilising Mali, following months of clashes as UN peacekeepers withdrew from the volatile north. “Algeria has taken note, with many regrets and deep concern, of the Malian authorities ending the agreement for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” the Algerian foreign ministry said in a statement. Algeria also stressed the decision’s “particular seriousness for Mali itself, for the entire region that aspires to peace and security, and for the all the international community”. The Malian junta blamed the “change in posture of certain signatory groups” and “acts of hostility” by Algeria, accusing it of hosting representative offices for some of the signatories that had since become “terrorist actors”. In December, Mali summoned the Algerian ambassador over what it called “interference” and “unfriendly acts”, accusing the diplomat of holding meetings with Tuareg separatists without involving Bamako. Algeria denied the Malian accusations on Friday, saying the junta’s justifications for scrapping the deal were far from the truth. The Algiers agreement had called for the integration of ex-rebels into the Malian defence forces and greater autonomy for the country’s regions. The separatist rebels, grouped under the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), had already accused the military junta in July 2022 of having abandoned the pact.

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