(Ecofin Agency) - The Movement for the Salvation of Azawad vigorously opposed the armed conflict in northern Mali and instead called for stronger anti-terrorism measures. In the two weeks leading up to the outbreak of the conflict, the Movement criticized the breach of the peace agreement and the military operations announced by CSP-PSD. Shortly before the hostilities began, it distanced itself from these actions.
The Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA) has announced its withdrawal from the Permanent Strategic Framework for Peace, Security, and Development (CSP-PSD).
In a statement issued on September 24, the departing member said the main reason for its exit is the conflict initiated in northern Mali by CSP-PSD against the transitional government.
"The MSA, a founding member of the CSP-PSD, regrets the non-consensual declaration of the CSP-PSD dated September 10, 2023, in which it engaged in armed conflict against the Malian Armed Forces. It informs the national and international public that it is permanently leaving the CSP-PSD from the date of this declaration," said the statement signed by the Secretary-General, Moussa Ag Acharatoumane.
For the past two weeks, armed group members of the CSP-PSD have launched a series of military operations in retaliation for violations of the peace and reconciliation agreements signed under the Algiers process, which they blamed on the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa). Amidst this new wave of conflict, these armed groups declared their capture of multiple northern bases, leading to casualties on both sides.
“With regret over the CSP-PSD's failure to respond to the plea by the MSA and GATIA for protection of populations in the Ménaka and Gao regions, who have been subjected to DAESH attacks since March 2022, the MSA, unwavering in its stance, refused to align or participate in any conflict beyond its mission to address the perpetrators of civilian population massacres,” the Movement said.
Alongside its decision to withdraw, the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad underscores its commitment to the Government of Mali for the diligent implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation arising from the Algiers process, an agreement already broken by the CSP-PSD shortly before the conflict escalated