Northern Mali teeters on the brink of renewed conflict as armed groups seize Bourem, casting a shadow over fragile peace efforts.

In a troubling turn of events, armed groups from northern Mali announced on Tuesday that they had successfully captured the strategically significant town of Bourem.

This town, nestled between the ancient cities of Gao and Timbuktu, has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing conflict between these armed factions and the Malian national army. The capture of Bourem raises concerns about the stability of the peace agreement signed in 2015 and suggests a resurgence of hostilities in this troubled region.

Shroud of Uncertainty: Conflicting Reports Surround Mali’s Bourem Operation

Malian authorities have remained tight-lipped about the operation, leaving the situation shrouded in uncertainty. Witnesses from the remote region have provided conflicting reports, with some suggesting that the army, with support from the air force, regained control of Bourem.

Regardless, the Permanent Strategic Framework (CSP), a coalition of armed factions that had previously signed a peace agreement with the state, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the operation. They declared they had taken “control of the camp and various advanced posts” from the Malian army and the Russian paramilitary group Wagner.