Malian police forces have killed a man suspected of being involved in a recent attack at a restaurant in Bamako in which five people, including some foreigners, were shot dead.
A source told Reuters that the man was killed after an exchange of fire in the Magnabougou district. The news comes as Tuareg separatists in northern Mali persistently carry out attacks as they demand independence from the government.
Tuareg's war for independence
The Tuareg's second rebellion in Mali – the first of which occurred in 1960s – began in 2012, when Tuareg soldiers returned to northern Mali after fighting in the Libyan Civil War.
Once they returned to Mali, they formed the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), which waged a war against the Malian government to win independence for the northern region of Azawad.
The revolts resulted in the ousting of then-president Amadou Toumani Touré and the suspension of the constitution of Mali.
Following the coup, the MNLA took control of three cities in the northern part of the country, and proclaimed Azawad's independence from Mali.
Tuareg nationalists and Islamists struggled to reconcile their conflicting views for the new state and, after several clashes, the MNLA renounced their claim of independence for Azawad and engaged with the Malian government in negotiations on its future status.
Although MNLA, Islamists and the Malian government have reached a peace agreement, some factions are yet to sign it.
In their latest assaults, which occurred in the rebel stronghold of Kidal, two children and a UN peacekeeper were killed when some 30 rockets were fired at a UN base.
A day later, hundreds took to the streets of Kidal to protest against a UN-brokered peace proposal as Tuareg leaders met to discuss the deal, which has already been signed by the Malian government.
According to protesters, the proposal does not answers their demands, including their request for independence for the northern Mali territory known as Azawad.
A meeting bringing together representatives from separatist groups including National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Arab Movement for Azawad (MAA), had been due to begin on Tuesday (10 March) but was postponed until Thursday, Reuters said.
Mark Saade, the honorary consul of Mali in London, told IBTimes UK that he believes the Malian government, with the aid of neighbouring countries, has been working tirelessly to engage in negotiations with the rebels and achieve peace.
However, he believes that the deployment of French troops in Mali in 2013 was necessary in order to halt the insurgents who were well equipped and well trained.
Saade added that the Malian government is on the right path to achieve peace. However, referring to the fact that Nigerian terror group Boko Haram recently pledged allegiance to Islamic State (Isis) terrorists, he warned that the support of neighbouring countries and the international community is still necessary to avoid local terrorism becoming a global threat.