AFRICA/MALI - Tensions between Algeria and Mali: Military junta wants to end agreement signed in Algiers in 2015

Friday, 26 January 2024 military   jihadists  

Bamako (Agenzia Fides) – There is a lot of tension between Mali and Algeria. The military junta, which took power in Bamako in 2020, released a communiqué yesterday, January 25, in which it stated that it "recognized with great concern hostile acts and interference in the internal affairs of Mali by the authorities of the Mali People's Democratic Republic of Algeria".
Bamako accuses Algiers, among other things, of allowing the presence on Algerian soil "of representatives of certain groups who signed the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement resulting from the Algiers Process and have now become terrorist groups". The note against Algeria comes as the military junta also yesterday announced the "immediate end" of the Algiers Agreement signed in 2015 with pro-independence groups in the north of the country. The junta justified this with the "changed attitude of some signatory groups" but also with "hostile actions and the instrumentalization of the agreement by the Algerian authorities, whose country is taking over the mediation." The agreement had fallen into crisis after independence groups in the north of the country, mainly Tuareg, resumed hostilities against the central state and the Malian army in 2023, after the UN mission (MINUSMA), expelled by the junta after ten years of presence. The Malian junta is suffering from sanctions imposed by the UN, but is supported by the Russian Federation, with which Algeria has excellent relations. However, this did not stop Algeria from adhering to the sanctions, according to Mali. In their communiqué, the Malian military then made a veiled threat to the government in Algiers to consider accepting representatives of the self-determination movement in Kabilia, an Algerian region with strong aspirations for autonomy, into Mali. As if to say: "If you want to accept the Tuareg movements in the north of Mali into your territory, we will accept your autonomists from Kabila." Finally, Mali blames Algeria for “the deterioration of the security situation in the Sahel.” “If it is true that the intervention of NATO (in reality military contingents sent by some NATO member states at the request of the legitimate Malian authorities, editor's note) has increased the terrorist threat, the settlement of the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) is no less in the Sahara and its connection to Al-Qaeda, which marks the arrival of international terrorism in the region". Perhaps a hidden message intended to suggest that the Algerian authorities have hidden links to some of the terrorist groups operating in Mali and the rest of the Sahel. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 26/1/2024)