On September 1, the second round of peace talks recommenced in Algiers with Malian government officials and rebel leaders.

These peace talks come after decades of instability within the country’s government and fighting in a heavily al- Qaeda influenced region. After a military coup in 2012, a ceasefire came in May, after the separatists gained much control over the north.

The first round of peace talks took place in July with the intent of setting the ground work to negotiations and ending to war.

Former prime minister Modibo Keita said of the peace talks: “This time in Algiers, participants will get to the bottom of the problems, and it is hoped, come to an agreement.”

Fear of attack in the north from Tuareg rebels was seen in January 2012, and in March of the same year, President Amadou Toumani Toure was ousted by military officials with claims of ineffectively handling the insurgence of the rebel forces. Toure fled and went into hiding. It was then that Toure wrote his resignation letter, only months from finishing his term in office.

“I am doing this without any pressure, and I am doing this in good faith, and I am doing it especially out of love for my country,” he said.

The coup was seen as  Toure’s failure to handle the rebels effectively; however, after he was overthrown, the Tureg rebels seized the three largest towns in northern Mali: Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu.

– Kori Withers

Sources: The New York Times, Yahoo News, BBC 1, BBC 2