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German, French foreign ministers urge Mali to implement peace accord

The foreign ministers of Germany and France, during a visit to Bamako on Monday called on Mali, to fully implement a peace accord between the government and rebel groups.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, underlined their countries’ commitment to the further stabilization of the country, but added that there was a lot of work left to be done.

“The situation is not yet fully stable,” Steinmeier said after holding talks with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

“That is why there is a lot left to do to ensure the peaceful future of this country.”

In 2012, northern Mali fell into the hands of Islamist insurgents who were pushed back after an intervention by the country’s former colonial power France in early 2013.

Islamist groups still stage attacks in the area.

The government and a coalition of rebels signed a UN-backed peace deal last year but rebel groups have complained that it falls short of their demands for the northern region.

Later on Tuesday, the diplomats were set to meet with German and French soldiers from the UN peacekeeping missing Minusma.

The German army has been involved in Mali since 2013 as part of Minusma and an EU military training mission.

Steinmeier and Ayrault will then travel to neighbouring Niger for talks with its leadership about regional security and migration from Africa to Europe. (dpa/NAN)

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