UN threatens sanctions against Mali parties blocking peace

The U.N. Security Council is threatening sanctions against parties to a June 2015 peace agreement in Mali.

A statement agreed to Wednesday by the 15 council nations expresses "a shared sense of impatience" about persistent delays in fulfilling the accord agreed to by the government, Tuareg separatists, and armed groups. A timeline sets a full implementation deadline at the end of March.

The council stressed the importance of making "substantive progress" ahead of local and regional elections in April and presidential elections in mid-July.

It said that "actions taken that obstruct, or that obstruct by prolonged delay, or that threaten the implementation of the agreement, now constitute a basis for sanctions designations."

Mali has been in turmoil since a 2012 uprising prompted mutinous soldiers to overthrow the country's president.