A UN Security Council delegation visiting Mali on Saturday called for faster implementation of a peace deal agreed last year, amid ongoing jihadist violence.

Representatives of the 15 Security Council members met Prime Minister Modibo Keita in the capital Bamako on Saturday before heading for talks with regional authorities in the centre and northwest.

French delegate Francois Delattre said the Security Council’s main message was "that the priority now is to implement the peace accord, to speed up the implementation of this accord… above all on the ground".

A landmark peace agreement was reached last year between the Mali government and Tuareg-led rebels, but jihadist violence has intensified on the ground and the handling of a return to peace has been criticised by the international community.

Mali’s vast, desolate north continues to be beset by violence, having fallen under the control of Tuareg-led rebels and jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in 2012.

The Islamists sidelined the rebels to take sole control, and although they were largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013, extremist groups still pose a threat.