Mali’s government has called for the swift implementation of a peace agreement with Tuareg-led rebels during talks in Algeria.
The agreement is seen as vital for preventing a resurgence of Islamist militant attacks in the vast West African nation. The two sides signed the United Nations-backed deal last year but the Tuareg-led coalition has complained that it falls short of their demands for their northern region.
With ongoing attacks still taking place in the West African country, western powers now worry that any further stalling of the Mali peace accord will allow militants to regain ground.
Political analysts say confidence has steadily eroded between the government and the rebels, slowing peace initiatives on the ground. The government and the rebel alliance – Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) – have both accused each other of stalling on implementation.
Tuaregs have risen up four times since Mali’s independence from France in 1960. Most recently, they formed an alliance with Islamist militants in 2012 to seize the desert north.
A French-led military intervention scattered the insurgents, although attacks continue. Western powers now worry that any further stalling of the Mali peace accord will allow militants to regain ground.