What's at Stake in Algeria's Role in Mali?


Algeria recently expressed concern over the termination of the peace and reconciliation agreement between the Malian government and the Azawad movements. The Algerian Foreign Ministry warned that this decision could lead to a civil war in Mali and pose a threat to regional security.

Reasons Behind the Decision

The Malian government justified their emergency action by citing changes in the positions of some signatory groups and what they perceived as hostile actions from Algeria. However, the Algerian Foreign Ministry dismissed these reasons as untrue and unrealistic.

Excess Power

Experts believe that the Malian military leadership's decision stems from their belief that they have enough power to control the north without sharing it with other groups, as outlined in the agreement. This surplus of power has led them to disregard the principle of power-sharing.

Delaying Implementation

Furthermore, the Malian government has been postponing coordination sessions to implement the provisions of the National Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. This indicates their lack of commitment to the agreement and their intention to assert their authority without adhering to its terms.

Possible Scenarios

Experts predict that the termination of the agreement could lead to fighting between the central government and the Azawad groups. This would create a security burden along Algeria's southern border, affecting not only military aspects but also social, economic, and immigration issues. Additionally, terrorist groups in the Sahel region may take advantage of the instability.

Algeria's Options

Algeria is unlikely to accept the termination of the agreement and will likely work with international parties, such as the United Nations and the African Union, to pressure Mali to reconsider. The Algerian government may also consider economic measures to deter the Malian government from antagonizing them further.

However, if the situation escalates, Mali's new partners, such as Russia and Turkey, may have to choose between Algeria and Mali. Analysts believe that Russia's support for the military junta harms the interests of the region and disregards the concerns of traditional partners like Algeria.

The termination of the peace and reconciliation agreement in Mali has raised concerns about the potential for a civil war and regional instability. Algeria, as a key mediator and sponsor of the agreement, will likely work with international partners to pressure Mali to reconsider. The situation remains tense, and the future of Mali's stability and relations with Algeria and other countries hangs in the balance.