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Africa

Slow progress in Mali restaurant attack inquiry as Tuaregs debate peace deal

media La Terrasse restaurant in Bamako after the attack that left five dead RFI/Marie-Pierre Olphand

The inquiry into the attack on a Bamako restaurant that killed five people, including French national Fabien Guyomard, was making slow progress five days after it took place. Rebel groups were meeting in northern Mali to discuss a peace deal that the government and its allies have already signed.

Bamako’s Lycée Français reopened on Wednesday after being dlosed for 48 hours to allow security to be improved.

Dossier: War in Mali

The scene of the attack, La Terrasse restaurant, was still sealed by investigators searching for clues, among them French experts who arrived on Sunday.

They also had a lengthy meeting with local police.

Despite witness statements, there is doubt as to the make of the black sports utility vehicle reportedly used by the attackers to male their escape.

Police are searching for five people they believe to have been involved and photo-fit pictures were being finished on Wednesday.

“It’s a difficult investigation,” a police source told RFI.

The attack has changed little for French troops stationed in the north of the country, military officials said mid-week.

The French army was not going to deploy troops to the capital and the UN’s Minusma force, 80 per cent of which is in the north, was not set to start patrols.

The Malian army was waiting for the signature of a peace deal with rebel groups, most of them Tuareg separatists, before it was able to move into the north.

Their representatives started a meeting, due to last several days, to debate the agreement that has been negotiated in Algeria and signed by the government and armed groups that support it.

“France calls on all parties to support the wording and this agreement,” French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius told the National Assembly on Wednesday, admitting that a “certain number of groups” still had to be convinced.
 

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