After almost a year away from the negotiating table, ex-rebels and the government in Mali have resumed talks.
On Friday, an alliance of Tuareg and Arab rebel groups, pro-government armed groups and the government met with the monitoring committee of Algiers agreement, signed in 2015
Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramtane Lamamra, said the talks had been constructive.
“A number of observations were made. The comments that were made by the government representative were satisfactory in content and tone, and I am confident that at our next meeting we will make even more significant progress.”
It is the first time the groups have met in 11 months to discuss the major deal with participants feeling hopeful.
Head of the Coordination of Azawad Movements, Attaye Ag Mohamed, is cautiously optimistic about the talks.
“The government of Mali and the parties have once again reiterated the commitment to work for the full and consensual implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement,” he says.
“This is a strong message, but we expect action.”
So far, there has been slow progress on the deal which aims to reintegrate 26,000 former rebels but Mahamadou Diouara, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of National Reconciliation of Mali, feels the negotiations are a good step forward.
“What is more important is that all the Malian parties have renewed their mutual trust, and they are in the process of giving each other the benefit of good faith in dealing with the issues.”
There has been turmoil in Mali since its independence and jihadist insurgencies in the north in 2012.
Mali has also seen military coups in 2020 and 2021