Mali hotel attack aimed at disrupting peace talks, say separatists

Johannesburg, Nov. 23 (ANI): The attack on Radisson Blu hotel in Mali that killed at least 19 people was an attempt to disrupt the already fragile peace process between separatists and the government that was meant to stabilise the country’s volatile north, a representative of northern separatist groups said.

According to News24, a peace accord between the Bamako-based government and separatist groups was signed in June, and local agreements in the north were signed in October.

Islamic extremist groups like Ansar Dine spoke out against the accord and accused separatists of betraying the local population after they signed the agreement.

Friday’s assault on the Radisson Blu hotel came as the hotel was preparing to host the latest meeting of a committee working toward the accord’s implementation.

An extremist group, Al-Mourabitoun (The Sentinels), had claimed responsibility for the attack. The group was formed by notorious Algerian militant Moktar Belmoktar with links to al-Qaeda and Ansar Dine. (ANI)

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