France, Algeria, and Mali have extended an immunity deal to militants in the Sahel region on condition that they lay down their arms. The officers are seeking to encourage the militants to take advantage of the immunity deal which allows them to avoid prosecution for crimes committed while operating in the different terror organizations in the Sahel.
The Algerian army announced the surrender of Larbi Khelifa – also known as Abu Ayoub – at Tamanrasset near the border with Mali. Khelifa, who had been wanted since 2010, is the emir of the al-Furqan cell of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a small group responsible for a rocket attack on a gas plant in the Algerian Sahara in March 2016.
Terrorist groups operating in northern Mali are feeling enormous pressure due to all the African, Malian and French troops carrying out sweeping operations in the area. Algeria has given immunity to more than 40 militants since the end of 2017.
The immunity pack will allow the surrender of different leaders and operatives from Nusrat al-Islam (Group to Support of Islam and Muslims) Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the Sahara as well as ISIS.