According to a Malian political researcher, these developments amount to declaring the Algiers Peace Agreement "dead" between the two sides.
Events of the last hours
- On Sunday, fighting intensified between the Azawad armed movements on the one hand, and the Malian army and the Wagner Group, on the other.
- These movements, represented by the Permanent Strategic Framework for Peace, Security and Development (CSP-PSD), attacked an army camp in the Liri district of the Nyafunke district of Timbuktu province, according to a statement by the framework, where troops from the army and the Wagner Group are present.
- According to Azawad sources, the elements inflicted heavy losses on the Malian forces, seized military vehicles and weapons, and took full control of the camp before withdrawing to avoid being targeted by Malian Air Force fighters.
- The Malian army then carried out air strikes against the forces of the Azawad movements.
- The sources explained that the attack was not aimed at controlling the camp, but comes within the strategic plans to drain the Malian forces in the Azawad region, break their strength, disrupt roads, demolish bridges and airstrips, and obtain army forces' weapons, ammunition and transport mechanisms.
Exchange of negation of control
This attack is the second by the Azawad movements in a week, as they had previously launched an attack on Tuesday (September 12th) on the city of "Bourem" in the Gao region in northern Mali, claiming control of it, but the Malian army announced that it had confronted it, and thwarted its efforts to control the city.
There were also conflicting reports about the fate of the famous "Anthaka" gold mine, as while Malian media reported that the army took control of the mine, located 50 km from the city of Gao, sources within the Azawad movements denied this.
The death of the Algiers Agreement
In the words of Mohamed Ag Ismail, a professor of political science at the University of Bamako, Mali has entered a phase of war between the Bamako authorities and the Azawad secession movements, which means that the Algiers peace agreement signed between them has become "dead".
In 2015, the agreement was signed by an Algerian woman to stop fighting between Tuareg-led separatist movements in Azawad and the government that began in 2012, but these movements accuse the government of freezing it.
The Malian political analyst expects Azawad to witness an "open conflict" between the two sides, describing the situation as "already deteriorating and if there are no serious negotiations, it will turn into an explosion and return to square zero."
Earlier, the American researcher in international affairs warned that reopening the conflict threatens a full-scale war, especially if Tuareg tribes in other countries join the battles to support the Tuareg in Azawad.
Cancellation of celebrations
Mali's transitional president, Colonel Assimi Goïta, announced on Wednesday evening the cancellation of celebrations scheduled to mark the country's independence anniversary on September 22nd.
To prepare for the worst, the government has begun steps to create a reserve force that will cooperate with the army in deterring risks.
According to a report by the Ministry of Defense, the Council of Ministers adopted a draft decree "establishing the special status of the reserve of the armed forces and security forces for the defense of the homeland, which will allow mobilization that includes all citizens aged at least 18 years along with the armed forces and security forces for the defense of the homeland."
According to the project: "The reserve consists of people called reservists who do not belong to the active army but are trained to strengthen or provide assistance to the Malian armed forces as part of the national defense with the aim of encouraging young people to contribute to the defence of the homeland."
The new conflict in Mali is adding fuel to local conflicts in Central and West Africa, accompanied by an escalation in attacks by terrorist groups, leaving the region lying on a powder keg.