Algiers hardens the tone against Bamako

During an interview with the Algerian press on Sunday 31 July, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune called on the Malian transitional authorities to “give the word to the people”, “move towards elections as soon as possible” and apply the 2015 peace agreement.

“Give the floor to the people”, “go towards elections” “as soon as possible”. In his interview with the Malian press on Sunday 31 July, the Algerian president said Abdelmadjid Tebboune addressed the Malian transitional authorities. His request is not in itself surprising – the return to constitutional order is a demand from all of Mali’s international partners and an ambition shown by the Malian transitional authorities themselves – but this exit is surprising for two reasons.

First, because it suggests that these elections would not be achieved, which amounts to an attack against the current Malian leaders. So because the tensions on the subject had subsided since the agreement reached at the beginning of last month between Bamako and ECOWAS, which made it possible to lift most of the economic sanctions that hit Mali. Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s words therefore go against the grain.

In addition, the Algerian president is asking Bamako not to let the 2015 peace deal die. “As long as the agreement is not applied, the problems in Mali will continue”, judge Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Algeria had sponsored this agreement reached in Bamako seven years ago between the Malian government and the armed groups of the North, including the former separatist rebels now grouped in the CMA. The latter itself condemns the “abandonment” of the implementation of the agreement by the Malian transitional authorities.

The agreement follow-up committee has not met since October last year, but after months of waiting, the government and the signatory groups began work on Monday, August 1, which should last until the end of the week precisely to allow the application of the peace agreement to be relaunched.

Why this exit from the Algerian president about the need to organize elections quickly in Mali, why today? Interview with Adib Bencherif, Assistant Professor at the School of Applied Politics in Sherbrooke, Canada, and Associate Researcher at the University of Florida’s Sahel Research Group

This element appears quite often, and the Algerian line has always been a return to constitutional order as quickly as possible. It was actually already a concern that they had before.

Adib Bencherif

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