Macron makes suggestions to Algeria to end Mali impasse


French President Emmanuel Macron contacted his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika to find ways to restart a stalled peace process for Mali, a source from Macron’s camp said.

The accord, brokered by Algeria in 2015, was meant to draw a line under a separatist conflict that has destabilised Mali, with nomadic Tuaregs in the desert north pitted against a government seated in the south.

The agreement has yet to be fully implemented and Mali is struggling to contain militant movements in the north, where rival militias frequently clash and Islamist groups carry out attacks on civilians, Malian soldiers, UN peacekeepers and French forces there.

The source, who declined to be identified, said Macron proposed “concrete measures” over the situation in Mali. He gave no precise details.
“Like other actors and ourselves, Algeria wants things to go more quickly and for the milestones it set to be met,” the source told reporters ahead of Macron’s visit to Mali for a regional heads of state meeting on Sunday to discuss the security situation in the area.

Despite continued French troop deployments, a UN peacekeeping mission and years of peace talks, Mali remains beset by banditry, unrest and ethnic strife and there is little prospect Paris can withdraw its 4,000 regional counter-terrorism force in the short-term.