Mali pledges to integrate 26,000 ex-rebel combatants into the army


BAMAKO, Mali β€” The Malian government will integrate 26,000 fighters from a former northern rebellion into its army under a deal with leaders of the former independence movement, the two sides announced after a meeting Friday.

The agreement signals new momentum in the stalled implementation of a reconciliation agreement signed years ago.

Friday’s meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga in the presence of several partners from Mali, including the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of the peacekeeping mission in Mali, El Ghassim Wane, and other ambassadors.

β€œThe Government of Mali will spare no effort to fulfill these commitments,” Maiga said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the reintegration of ex-combatants will take place in two phases, the second ending in 2024. A commission will be formed to present proposals to integrate senior officers of the movement into the chain of command of the movement. ‘army.

The initial peace accord, signed in 2015 between the government and non-extremist independent armed groups in northern Mali, has stalled.

“Things tend to stall and never get done, and they have for years,” said Rida Lyammouri, senior fellow at the Policy Center for the New South. “But if the decisions are carried out, it’s a good thing because in the north, the population is suffering.”

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