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Terrorism in West Africa: Violence Erupts as Wanted Jihadist Leader Returns

Terrorism in West Africa: Violence Erupts as Wanted Jihadist Leader Returns

Though it is criticized, that agreement between the Malian government and the armed groups that renounced to terrorism settled a fragile peace and allowed the country to organize presidential and parliamentary elections.

Looking for a Roadmap

Late last month, the UN Security Council invited the Malian authorities to accelerate the peace talks process. Joy Ogwu, the UN Security Council president for April, said the Council’s members were concerned by the lack of progress in peace talks.

The United Nations also invited the Malian government and the armed groups that signed the agreement of Wagadougou to make a roadmap together. According to Ogwu, that roadmap must hold a credible, inclusive process of negotiation which will be open to all the communities of the North of Mali — the aim being to reach a political, long-term resolution for the crisis.

On May 4, the Malian minister of Defense, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, announced in a conference that his country will soon sign a defense agreement with France, the former colonial power. But according to Sylla, authorities will need to offer better information to convince a group of citizens who are opposed to the agreement.

“The first attempt to sign the agreement in January has been postponed because some people demonstrated against it,” Sylla said.

Mali, which is a poor country, still needs international assistance to form and outfit its armed forces, according to Sissoko:

“Though the European Union and other international partners help us, it will take a long time for us to get a well trained army. We have to look for money for building a strong army.”

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