June 20 marked the one-year anniversary of the landmark peace deal struck in Algiers between the government of Mali and separatist Tuareg rebel fighters, notes Kamissa Camara, senior program officer for West and Central Africa at the National Endowment for Democracy. In 2012, the fighters, joined by Islamist militias allied with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), led an uprising against the central government, claiming an independent northern state called Azawad. The Algerian-brokered deal was a bid to put an end to the cycle of rebellions that have tormented northern Mali since the 1960s, she writes for World Politics Review:
The agreement also sought to bring sustainable peace more generally to Mali, a former beacon of democracy. This, according to the agreement, known as the Algiers Accords, would be achieved through political and institutional reforms; an overhaul of the defense and security apparatus; and the pursuit of justice, reconciliation, economic development and an improved humanitarian situation in the north. But a year later, Mali’s security and political context has dramatically evolved, creating challenges for the implementation of the Algiers Accords.