ARMED groups that signed an Algerian-brokered peace deal with the Malian government more than three years ago continue to threaten its implementation.
Thats the assessment of a new UN report that links signatory groups to terrorist activities, drug smuggling, and human trafficking. Vast sums of money, the report argues, have been invested in the peace process with little return.
Meanwhile insecurity is on the rise in central Mali which was not included in the original peace deal. Islamist militants, once confined to the north, have slowly expanded their presence in the region since 2015, inflaming tensions among ethnic groups and triggering the birth of self-defence militias.
Fighting among armed groups has intensified in recent months, leaving hundreds dead, thousands displaced and scores of villages burnt.