UN chief: Consider sanctions on those thwarting Mali peace

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U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging the Security Council to consider imposing sanctions on key players in Mali who are obstructing implementation of a 2015 peace agreement if there are no immediate results on the ground. The new U.N. chief said in a report to the council circulated Monday that progress in implementing the peace deal between the government and rebel groups remains slow.

Guterres said that amid renewed fighting between a government-allied militia and a coalition of groups seeking autonomy in northern Mali, key provisions of the agreement have not been implemented, including establishing interim authorities and mixed patrols.

He said the limited progress in putting security arrangements in place has facilitated the spread of insecurity and expanded the activities of violent extremist groups.