Peace Talks Seek to Reduce Violence Associated with Northern Mali Conflict
New peace talks have brought together the Malian government, rebels from Mali's northern region, and international mediators in an attempt to quell the violence that has spread across the African nation.
For expatriates living and working abroad, political violence can become a serious concern. In some countries outbreaks are more common. In northern Mali, conflict has arisen as separatists have been relatively active since the nation gained independence from France in 1960. These incidents can place all residents at risk, but upcoming peace talks in nearby Algeria could help reduce the danger in the country.
According to The Associated Press, violence has reappeared over the past several months, with rebels targeting the Malian government. Talks will commence in the middle of July to cease the attacks, with attendees including government officials, Mali's northern Taureg tribes and officials from major international organizations such as the United Nations, African Union and the European Union, among others. Some of the current problems are related to France’s previous attempts to establish a government in Mali, with some rebel groups opposed to the African nation's current leaders.
Talks are only the first step
While the peace talks are an encouraging sign, they are only the first step in what could be a long process to quell the northern Mali conflict. According to Reuters, a preliminary prisoner swap was conducted as a compromise between the two sides. More than 40 civilians and government troops were exchanged for a similar number of rebel members in the days prior to the peace talks.
"The government is committed to talks in good faith, in a spirit of openness and confidence, to reach a definitive agreement with our brothers in the north," said Mali's Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop according to the Algerian state news agency APS.
Even so, more work is required to bring stability back to the region. Andrew Lebovich, a New York-based researcher and analyst, told Reuters that while a deal would be a good first step, it may not be enough to sway the fighters on the ground in Mali.
For expats working in high-risk areas such as Mali, it would be wise to acquire proper international insurance. Coverage can be affordable and flexible to cope with the many risks faced abroad, including political violence. Without a policy, you may have to handle certain expenses on your own, without crucial assistance. To learn more about high risk international insurance visit our page on specialty international commercial insurance.
Another country where political violence is on the rise is Burundi, a small, landlocked nation in Africa. Many expats here may want to keep a close eye on recent news emerging from the country in order to make educated decisions and stay safe while overseas. Find out more about the political turmoil, dangerous climate present in Burundi.
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