Middle East

Mali agrees to integrate 26,000 former rebels into army

The ex-combatants will be integrated into “two tranches of 13,000” fighters, the junta-appointed government said.

Mali plans to redeploy its forces to key northern municipalities in the form of mixed battalions made up of equal numbers of traditional soldiers and ex-rebel combatants. (Reuters Archive)

The government appointed by Mali’s military junta has agreed to integrate 26,000 ex-combatants into its armed forces with armed groups the country signed a peace deal with in 2015, according to an official statement sent to AFP news agency. .

The announcement of the 26,000 fighters follows a conference in Bamako this week attended by Prime Minister Choguel Cokala Maiga, representatives of armed groups and Algerian representatives, the government said in a statement. said on Friday.

According to the statement, they will be combined into “two tranches of 13,000” fighters.

It did not specify a start date, but said the second tranche would be distributed over “two years, namely 2023-2024.”

Algiers Peace Accord

These groups are signatories to the so-called Algiers Peace Accords signed in 2015 between the government of Mali and the country’s former rebel groups, mainly in the north of the Tuareg.

The agreement provides for former rebel combatants with a view to their integration into civil service, including the military, or their “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration” (DDR) into civilian life. It defines the camp process.

The integration of 26,000 fighters will help reorganize the army and better represent the northern population.

It then plans to gradually redeploy troops to key northern municipalities in the form of mixed battalions made up of equal numbers of traditional soldiers, former rebel combatants and pro-government armed groups.

But the integration process has stalled, as has the peace deal that underpins it.

Implementing all aspects of the Algiers Accords is seen as an important step towards exiting Mali’s decade-long crisis.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on July 31 called on Mali’s military government to implement the agreement and hold elections “as soon as possible.”

Mali’s ruling colonel, bowing to pressure from his West African neighbors in the wake of two coups in August 2020 and May 2021, called for a new election law in early July and a presidential election in February 2024. Agreed on a timetable including

Source: AFP

https://www.trtworld.com/africa/mali-agrees-to-integrate-26-000-ex-rebels-into-army-59503?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Mali agrees to integrate 26,000 former rebels into army

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