Malian Foreign Minister Tiebile Drame told Sputnik on Tuesday that the national army's return to the country's northern provinces would be an important step in reuniting and restoring peace in Mali after years of political and social unrest
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 25th February, 2020) Malian Foreign Minister Tiebile Drame told Sputnik on Tuesday that the national army's return to the country's northern provinces would be an important step in reuniting and restoring peace in Mali after years of political and social unrest.
In 2012, Malian soldiers staged a coup d'etat in protest of the government's handling of a Tuareg rebellion in the north, which sparked a civil war throughout the country as Islamists took control of the weakened territories.
"The return of the army forces to [the northern city of] Kidal is an important stage of the stabilization process in Mali. It will be in the whole northern part of the country. This process is ongoing. We knock on the wood, we pursue this determination so that Mali can be reunited. The final goal is the reunification of Mali and restoration of peace," Drame told Sputnik.
A peace agreement was reached in the Malian capital of Bamako in January, which assumed a military deployment plan. As a result, in early February, the Malian army forces entered rebel-controlled Kidal and will soon head to the two other northern cities of Menaka and Gao.
"I invite the observers, the journalists to witness the new reality forming now under the peace process in Mali. What the actors in Mali have realized is that they've lost a lot of time, that there was a delay and they decided to turn the page to engage for the new path. And with this new dynamic we will try to catch up on this time that was lost," the top Malian diplomat said.
In 2013, the French military intervention secured fragile peace in Mali. That same year, in an effort to provide stability in the region, the United Nations founded two missions, the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the European Union Training Mission Mali. Since its opening, 177 MINUSMA peacekeepers out of about 15,000 delegated to Mali have been killed, according to UN figures.