Former rebels in Mali have reversed a decision to boycott a national reconciliation conference
This comes after they received assurances from the government that “the process would continue” beyond the scheduled conclusion of the summit on April the 2nd.
The talks were agreed in a 2015 peace deal signed by Tuareg-led rebels, the government and pro-Bamako militias aimed at ending successive separatist uprisings in Mali’s north, most recently in 2012, and to isolate jihadist groups.
On Monday, the Coordination of Movements of Azawad, the former rebel alliance, and Mali’s opposition groupings had announced they would not attend, saying the planned 7-day meeting was not long enough and its aims were too limited.
But CMA representatives and former rebels were present at the summit on Tuesday.
Mali’s north fell under the control of jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda in 2012 who hijacked the rebel uprising, though the Islamists were largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013.