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Mali peace accord to be signed Sunday in Algiers: Algeria

1 March 2015 0:51

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Algeria says the Malian government and six militant groups operating in the restive northern parts of the West African country are set to ink a peace deal on Sunday in the Algerian capital, Algiers. 

“The Malian parties will sign a peace accord on Sunday morning under the auspices of Algeria,” a source in Algeria’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Since last July, negotiations brokered by Algeria and the United Nations have been held between Mali’s government and the militants in Algiers.

The Algerian Foreign Ministry invited the media to the signing ceremony, which is slated to be held at 8:30 am local time (0730 GMT).

A 30-page draft deal titled the “Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali from the Algiers Process” calls for “reconstruction of the country`s national unity” in a way that “respects its territorial integrity and takes account of its ethnic and cultural diversity.”

Under the deal, a raft of powers will be transferred from Bamako to the country`s violence-hit north.

The agreement also suggests establishment of elected local assemblies led by a directly-elected president, as well as “greater representation of the northern populations in national institutions.”

As of 2018, Mali’s government will allocate 30 percent of its revenues to local authorities, especially in the north, according to the document.

Moreover, an internationally funded Northern Development Zone will be set up to raise living standards of the northern population to the level of the rest of the country within 10-15 years.

Based on the draft, the militants will be integrated into the Malian army and will be stationed in the northern areas of the country.

Mali slid into chaos after President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup in March 2012.

The coup leaders said they mounted the coup d’état in response to what was said to be the government’s inability to contain a rebellion by Tuareg people in the north.

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