Northern Mali rebels capture an Army outpost. The Permanent Strategic Framework (PSF), a separatist group, has taken over a military base in Bourem, Gao region.
They also control key spots formerly held by government troops. The PSF in Mali is a coalition of nationalist groups from Northern Mali.
Established in 2021, it aims to unify these groups’ efforts towards more autonomy or even independence for the Azawad region.
Alghabass Ag Intalla, PSF’s leader, calls for broad mobilization for “national defense.” He also warns civilians to steer clear of military sites now targeted by his group.
Formed in 2021, the PSF includes the Azawad Movements Coordination, which seeks independence, and the Platform group, which wants unity but with disagreements.
Both groups signed the 2015 Algiers peace deal—this pact aimed for more self-rule in Northern Mali after the 2012 north-central government conflict.
The UN’s Mali mission (Minusma) withdrawal has raised tensions. The military junta leading the central state, requested this pullout.
Previously, Minusma was the only force observing the ceasefire.
The PSF’s actions significantly affect Mali’s national unity and regional stability.
Its formation in 2021 marked a turning point as it attempted to consolidate various Northern Mali groups under one umbrella.
This move aimed to strengthen their negotiating power with the central government, led by a military junta since 2020.
The military junta’s rule has further strained relations between Northern Mali and the central government.
A demand for more local autonomy has long been a sticking point in these relations.
The military’s increasing grip on power makes it less likely to compromise, thus escalating tensions.
The withdrawal of the UN mission raises concerns about the future of the fragile ceasefire and peace deal.
It also opens the door for more aggressive actions from both the PSF and the military junta.
As international oversight diminishes, the chances of renewed conflict increase, posing risks for Mali and the broader Sahel region.