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Ex-Mali rebels sign pact to ‘facilitate ties’ with ruling junta

The accord was signed in Italy's capital Rome, according to former rebels, with a signatory saying it included language on military leaders committing to implementing 2015 Algiers peace accord

FORMER Malian rebels have signed a pact designed to ‘facilitate ties’ with the Sahel state’s ruling junta, the armed groups said.

The former rebels and the junta signed an accord in Italy’s capital Rome on Wednesday designed to ‘facilitate ties,’ according to Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, a spokesperson for the former rebels.

The text of the agreement has not been released.

However, a signatory who requested anonymity said that it included language on the Malian authorities committing to implementing the Algiers peace accord.

Italian non-governmental organisation Ara Pacis, which could not be reached for comment, brokered the talks.

The Italian government declined to comment.

Escape route

Militant groups –– former allies of Mali’s Tuareg separatists and Arab rebels –– are not included in the Algiers peace agreement.

The ex-rebels, who range from former Tuareg separatists to Arab nationalists, had already signed a peace agreement with the previous civilian government in 2015, in Algiers.

Analysts view the Algiers accord as one of the few escape routes from Mali’s decades-old conflict.

The country has struggled to control a militant insurgency that first emerged in 2012, before spreading to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

However, Mali’s government never fully implemented the Algiers accord.

In August 2020, the military overthrew elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after months of brewing discontent with his rule.

Relations between the junta and the ex-rebels, who remain in control of swathes of northern Mali, have often been strained since then.



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