UN experts: Mali peace signatories failed to accelerate deal

U.N. experts say signatories to a 2015 peace agreement in Mali have failed to accelerate its implementation as promised amid growing rivalries and popular resentment against the deal, and increasing attacks by militants in Mali and neighboring countries.

The experts monitoring sanctions in Mali issued a report to the Security Council circulated Wednesday that also cited escalating violence in the country’s center and loss of territory « to terrorist armed groups » by key signatories and other rivals.

Mali’s been in turmoil since a 2012 uprising. A French-led war ousted jihadists from power in 2013, but insurgents remain active in the country and region.

The experts said that in the wider Sahel region, « violent attacks by jihadist and affiliated criminal groups continued to escalate, » with Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger most affected.(AP)