Shaky peace negotiations in the north and growing Wahabii influence in the south suggest the government is increasingly out its depth
As the government and various northern-based rebels prepare to sign another 'final agreement' in Bamako on 20 June, alarm is growing about the deterioration of security across the country. Western governments and the United Nations pin hopes of progress on this latest accord's political and military provisions, negotiated between Bamako officials and ostensibly nationalist militias. Yet the political and economic allegiances of the Tuareg nationalist groups, such as the Coordination des mouvements de l'Azawad (CMA), formed last year, remain complex and obscure. Some Tuareg nationalists and their allies evidently have continuing links with jihadist forces such as Ansar Eddine and Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which French and Chadian special forces drove out of northern Mali two years ago. Since then, French special forces, with quiet support from Netherlands' intelligence officers, have been fighting running battles against elements of those militias and their ideological offshoots.
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