Mali: Division Emerges Among Northern Armed Groups as MSA Quits the Permanent Strategic Framework

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There has been renewed fighting in Mali’s northern region between the Malian army and the CSP (Permanent Strategic Framework). However, there are now divisions emerging within the coalition of armed groups that signed the 2015 peace agreement. The CSP has accused the Malian army of violating the peace accord and has taken up arms again, attacking the Fama base in Bourem two weeks ago, followed by Léré eight days ago. However, on Sunday, the MSA (Movement for the Salvation of Azawad) announced its departure from the CSP, distancing itself from this strategy.

The Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA), operating in the Menaka region near Niger and the three borders area, has officially announced its decision to sever ties with the coalition known as the Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP). The MSA had already distanced itself from previous attacks and statements made by the CSP. For the past year and a half, the MSA has been actively involved in combatting the brutal offensives of the Islamic State (IS) in the region, which have resulted in the loss of many lives.

Today, the MSA’s stated priority is to combat the jihadist group. The MSA “cannot be engaged in a conflict other than the one it is waging against the perpetrators of mass killings of civilian populations,” says Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, its secretary-general. He also laments that the other armed groups within the CSP did not respond to his call to fight against the Islamic State in Menaka.

The MSA reiterates its commitment to the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement and chooses to remain an ally of the Malian Armed Forces and the “loyalist” faction of Gatia, led by General Gamou, which has created this armed group, also active in the regions of Menaka and Gao. In contrast, another faction of Gatia, led by its historic secretary-general, Fahad Ag Almahmoud, has firmly sided with the CSP in a war it believes is “orchestrated by the junta in power in Bamako.”

Soukaina Sghir

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