UN welcomes renewed commitment to Mali peace deal

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FILE PHOTO: UN peacekeepers standing guard near Timbuktu's airport in Mali, February 4, 2016. /VCG Photo)
FILE PHOTO: UN peacekeepers standing guard near Timbuktu’s airport in Mali/ /VCG Photo)

The UN on Tuesday welcomed the renewed commitment made by Malian parties towards the implementation of a peace agreement at the conclusion of a meeting of the Agreement Monitoring Committee in the capital Bamako.

Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the UN also welcomed the Mali government’s plan to reintegrate former combatants.

“In particular, our UN colleagues welcomed the announcement by the government of Mali to reintegrate 13,000 ex-combatants by the end of the year and an additional 13,000 within the next two to three years as part of the global disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration program in Mali,” Dujarric told journalists at the UN.

“We also welcome the willingness of the Malian parties to proceed with the socio-economic reintegration of ex-combatants already registered, including about 300 women per region.”

Full implementation of the peace agreement remains central to achieving peace and stability in Mali and the Sahel region.

The UN also reiterated its commitment to support the Malians in their efforts.

Mali has been battling an insurgency linked to al-Qaeda and Daesh/ISIS since 2012 when unrest erupted in the north of the country.

In 2015, Mali signed a peace agreement in Algiers with several rebel groups in a bid to curb the violence.

The deal, among other things, saw rebel militias start cooperating with the army and provides for decentralizing governance in the country of 19 million people.

But there have been global and regional concerns over developments in Mali since a military coup that overthrew the civilian government in May.

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