September 1-7, 2014

Weekly Media Monitoring report for Mali
Posted on September 9, 2014


Compiled by Myriam MÉNARD

1. Mali Peace Talks: Second round of negotiations between the government and armed groups initiated under a fragile and unpredictable climate
State-owned media

“Pourparlers d’Alger : Dans le vif du sujet”, Bamako, in French, 2 Sep 2014

  • The second round of peace talks between the Malian government and armed groups from Northern Mali began as planned on September 1, 2014 in Algiers.
  • Both parties were present in Algiers to attend the opening ceremony, which started with a 2-hour delay due to the refusal of some of the armed groups to enter the room due to protocol issues. 

Privately owned media

“2e Rencontre d’Alger : Les groupes armés du nord d’accord pour parler d’une seule voix”, in French, 1 Sep 2014

  • In Ouagadougou, after four days of discussions on issues related to Northern Mali, six armed groups signed a memorandum of understanding.
  • They undertook to cease all hostilities between themselves and to negotiate in a single voice with the government at the Mali peace talks meeting held in Algiers on September 1, 2014.

“Second round des négociations à Alger : Les groupes armés, peu convaincus, torpillent la médiation”, Bamako, in French, 2 Sep 2014

  • The beginning of the “substantive phase” of the Algiers negotiations has showcased all the difficulties associated with the political process between the Malian government and armed groups.
  • The differences between the armed groups on the one had and between the armed groups and the Government on the other hand quickly took over, jeopardizing the beginning of the second round of negotiations.
  • The MNLA, which required that only those who fought against the Malian government take part in the negotiations in Algiers, refused to open the negotiations on Tuesday due to the fact that not all of its members landed in Algiers.
  • The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria has nonetheless ordered the beginning of the negotiations this afternoon at 3pm.

“Reprise des pourparlers d’Alger : Bamako confuse, les groupes armés divisés”, Bamako, in French, 4 Sep 2014

  • The second round of peace talks between the Government and armed groups of Northern Mali has started as scheduled on Monday, 1 September 2014.
  • All actors were present in Algiers, where the opening ceremony, scheduled to take place in the afternoon, started with a 2-hour delay due to the refusal of some of the armed groups to enter the room, according to our sources on the ground. 
  • Unlike what the armed groups are trying to convey to the public, their disputes are far from being resolved.

“Alger II dans l’impasse : Les dessous du blocage”, in French, 5 Sep 2014

  • The long-awaited second phase of peace talks between the government of Mali and armed groups has not started yet due to the opposition of the armed groups to the participation of civil society to the discussions.
  • Scheduled to start on Monday and then Wednesday, the second phase of the negotiations has stalled du to the actions of armed groups (MNLA, MAA, HACUA), which accuse Algeria of being biased.
  • An official from the MNLA told L’indicateur du renouveau’s reporter: “We are in ‘négociations’ not ‘pourparlers’, it is the belligerents who must meet face to face, that is to say the Malian State and us.”
  • Meanwhile a march in support of Azawad was held in Kidal yesterday. “Bilal, only independence of our Azawad” were chanting demonstrators.
  • On Monday, a similar march took place in the town of Ber, near Timbuktu. 
  • Substantive discussions have not started yet because armed groups were opposed to the participation of Malian civil society in the discussions. 

“Pourparlers d’Alger : On manifeste à Ber et M’Bera”, Bamako, in French, 5 Sep 2014

  • In support of those whom they consider as their representatives, some refugees have manifested in the camps of Ber and M’Bera in Mauritania.
  • All day, refugees waved flags of the MNLA and chanted slogans against Mali and in favour of the armed movement.

“Le jeu trouble du MNLA dénoncé par les autres groupes armés”, Bamako, in French, 5 Sep 2014

  • Officials from the MNLA have multiplied they advocacy efforts for a greater autonomy of the region of Kidal.
  • Representatives from other armed groups also present in Algers resent the unilateral initiatives of the MNLA, which stands in contradiction with the commitments they made during a recent meeting in Ouagadougou.
Social Media

AZAWAD TWEET, @SaharaRebelle, in French, 1 Sep 2014

  • #Azawad - #Algiers negotiations: First images of the march in Ber NO to decentralization via @ChitouWalet 

ABDOU-AL-GAO, @Abdou_diarra, in French, 2 Sep 2014

  • 3 attacks against MINUSMA in 10 days, some people are not happy with Algiers? #Mali

IBRAHIM, @sysawane, in French, 2 Sep 2014

  • The new armed group GATIA of the Imghad Tuarged tribe in Northern Mali, fight against autonomy. #Mali

AZAWAD TWEET, @SaharaRebelle, in French, 5 Sep 2014

  • “The conflict did not start in 2012. It has been going on since 1963”, says an executive manager of #MAA. “We head about a ‘new Mali’” executive manager of #MAA 1/2
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