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2013 Gaddafi's Nemesis: Northern Mali Conflict. Part One: Background, Developments, French intervention

2013 Gaddafi's Nemesis: Northern Mali Conflict. Part One: Background, Developments, French intervention

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Northern Mali Conflict and Tuareg Rebellion according to Wikipedia as at January 12th, 2013. A compilation by Virgilio Ilari. Part One
Northern Mali Conflict and Tuareg Rebellion according to Wikipedia as at January 12th, 2013. A compilation by Virgilio Ilari. Part One

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Published by: Virgilio_Ilari on Jan 13, 2013
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Gaddafi’s Nemesis: Northern Mali conflict

(17 January 2012–12 January 2013)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Part One: Background, Development, French Intervention

Northern Mali conflict
(17 January 2012–present)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Map of the rebel territorial claims and rebel attacks as of 10 January 2013

Date Location

Status

17 January 2012 – ongoing (11 months, 4 weeks and 6 days) Northern Mali Ongoing • Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré is ousted by a coup d'état[4] • MNLA and Ansar Dine take control of all Northern Mali territory[5] • Independent state of Azawad declared by the MNLA[6] and briefly supported by Ansar Dine[7] • Ansar Dine, AQIM[8] and MOJWA take control of all northern Malian cities France
[9]

Mali •

ECOWAS Independent State of Azawad MNLA

Senegal Nigeria[9] Niger[10] Burkina Faso[11] Supported by: US[12][13][14] UK[15] EU[16] NLFA[17][18] Commanders and leaders Amadou Toumani Touré (until March) Sadio Gassama (until March) El Haji Ag Gamou (until March) Amadou Sanogo (since March 2012) Mohamed Lamine Ould Sidatt (NLFA) Housseine Khoulam (NLFA)[17] Strength

Islamists • Ansar Dine[1] • MOJWA[2] • AQIM • Boko Haram[3] • Ansar al-Sharia

Mahmoud Ag Aghaly Iyad ag Ghaly[20] Omar Bilal Ag Acherif Ould Hamaha[21] Mokhtar Bel Moussa Ag Acharatoumane Mokhtar Ag Mohamed Najem[19]

7,000–7,800 regulars, 4,800 paramilitaries, 3,000 militia (overall military strength) Hundreds of French special forces soldiers 3,000[22][23] ~500 (NLFA)[17]

1,200+[24] • Haram: 100[3] • Dine: 300[23]

Casualties and losses 164+ killed,[25] 400 captured[26] Total: 1,000–1,500+ killed, captured or 165+ killed (conflict with Mali deserted (by April 2012)[22] Army)[30][31][32] 115-214+ 5–123 killed (conflict with [33][34][35][36][37] [27][28] 11-36 killed, 60 wounded, 12 Islamists)[33][34][35][36] captured[29] (January 2013) 1 French pilot killed Displaced: ~100,000 refugees abroad[38] 100,000+ internally displaced persons[39] Total: ~250,000[40] Since 17 January 2012, several insurgent groups have been fighting a campaign against the Malian government for independence or greater autonomy for northern Mali (an area known as Azawad). The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), an organization fighting to make Azawad an independent homeland for the Tuareg people, had taken control of the region by April 2012. The MNLA were initially backed by the Islamist group Ansar Dine. After the Malian military were driven from Azawad, Ansar Dine began imposing strict Sharia law. Since then, the MNLA has been fighting against Ansar Dine and another Islamist group called the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA), a splinter group of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. On 22 March 2012, President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état over his handling of the crisis, a month before a presidential election was to have taken place.[41] Mutineering soldiers, calling themselves the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR), took control and suspended the constitution of Mali.[42] As a consequence of the instability following the coup, Mali's three largest northern cities—Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu—were overrun by the rebels[43] on three consecutive days.[44] On 5 April 2012, after the capture of Douentza, the MNLA said that it had accomplished its goals and called off its offensive. The following day, it proclaimed Azawad's independence from Mali.[45] After the end of hostilities with the Malian Army, the MNLA and Islamists struggled to reconcile their conflicting visions for an intended new state.[46] On 27 June, MOJWA Islamists clashed with the MNLA in the Battle of Gao, wounding MNLA secretary-general Bilal Ag Acherif and taking control of the city.[47] By 17 July 2012, the MNLA had lost control of northern Mali's cities to the Islamists.[48] On 11 January 2013, President of France François Hollande said that he had agreed to a request from the government of Mali for foreign aid and that "French forces have provided support to Mali".[24] Background The MNLA was an offshoot of a political movement known as the National Movement for Azawad (MNA) prior to the insurgency.[49] After the end of the Libyan civil war, an influx of weaponry led to the arming of the Tuareg in their demand for independence for the Azawad.[50] The strength of this uprising and the use of heavy weapons, which were not present in the previous conflicts, were said to have "surprised" Malian officials and observers.[51] Though dominated by Tuaregs, the MNLA stated that they represented other ethnic groups as well,[52] and were reportedly joined by some Arab leaders.[49] The MNLA's leader Bilal Ag Acherif said that the onus was on Mali to either give the Saharan peoples their self-determination or they would take it themselves.[53] Another Tuareg-dominated group, the Islamist Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), initially fought alongside the MNLA against the government. Unlike the MNLA, it did not seek independence but rather the imposition of sharia across Mali.[38] The movement's leader Iyad Ag Ghaly was part of the early 1990s rebellion and has been reported to be linked to an offshoot of AlQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that is led by his cousin Hamada Ag Hama[54] as well as Algeria's Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (DRS).[22] Mali was going through several crises at once that favored the rise of the conflict:[55] • State crisis: the establishment of a “Tuareg State,” was a long term goal of the MNLA when they entered into a rebellion in 1962. Therefore, Mali has been in a constant struggle to maintain their territory. • Security crisis: Deployment in Northern Mali for the Al Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), coming from neighboring Algeria, is well structured, expansive, and offensive at times; their dominance is reinforced by the weaknesses of the Malian army and the passive role of their nation’s President. • Food crisis: Mali’s economy lives on support, with an extreme sense of dependence on the outside, which led ECOWAS to decide on a blockade to subdue the military junta. • Political crisis: The mutiny led to the fall of the president. Tuareg rebellion (January–April 2012) Further information: Tuareg rebellion (2012) The first attacks of the rebellion took place in Ménaka, a small town in far eastern Mali, on 16 and 17 January 2012. On 17 January attacks in Aguelhok and Tessalit were reported. The Mali government claimed to have regained control of all three towns the next day.[56] On 24 January the rebels retook Aguelhok after the Malian army ran out of ammunition.[22] The next day the Mali government once again recaptured the city.[56] Mali launched air and land counter operations to take back the seized territory,[57] amid protests in Bamako[58] and Kati.[59] Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré then reorganised his senior commanders for the fight against the rebels.[60] On 1 February 2012, the MNLA took control of the city of Menaka when the Malian army operated what they called a tactical retreat. The violence in the north led to counter protests in the capital city of Bamako. Dozens of Malian soldiers were also killed in fighting in Aguelhok.[58] On 6 February, rebel forces attacked Kidal, a regional capital.[61] On 4 March 2012, a new round of fighting was reported near

killed

the formerly rebel-held town of Tessalit.[62] The next day, three Malian army units gave up trying to lift the siege.[22][63] The United States Air Force air-dropped supplies via a C-130 in support of the besieged Malian soldiers.[12] On 11 March, the MNLA re-took Tessalit and its airport, and the Malian military forces fled towards the border with Algeria.[64] The rebels advanced to about 125 kilometers away from Timbuktu and their advance was unchecked when they entered without fighting in the towns of Diré and Goundam.[65] Ansar Dine stated that it had control of the MaliAlgeria border.[66] Coup d'état Main article: 2012 Malian coup d'état On 21 March 2012, soldiers dissatisfied with the course of the conflict attacked Defense Minister Sadio Gassama as he arrived to speak to them. They then stoned the minister's car, forcing him to flee the camp.[67] Later that day, soldiers stormed the presidential palace, forcing Touré into hiding.[68] The next morning, Captain Amadou Sanogo, the chairman of the new National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR), made a television appearance in which he announced that the junta had suspended Mali's constitution and taken control of the nation.[69] The mutineers cited Touré's alleged poor handling of the insurgency and the lack of equipment for the Malian Army as their reasons for the rebellion.[70] The CNRDR would serve as an interim regime until power could be returned to a new, democratically elected government.[71] The coup was "unanimously condemned" by the international community,[72] including by the United Nations Security Council,[73] the African Union,[73] and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the latter of which announced on 29 March that the CNRDR had 72 hours to relinquish control before landlocked Mali's borders would be closed by its neighbours,[74] its assets would be frozen by the West African Economic and Monetary Union, and individuals in the CNRDR would receive freezes on their assets and travel bans.[75] ECOWAS[76] and the African Union also suspended Mali. The U.S., the World Bank, and the African Development Bank suspended development aid funds in support of ECOWAS and the AU's reactions to the coup.[77][78] Côte d'Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, who was the rotational chairman of ECOWAS, said that once the civilian government was restored an ECOWAS stand-by force of 2,000 soldiers could intervene against the rebellion.[79] Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore was appointed as a mediator by ECOWAS to resolve the crisis.[75] An agreement was reached between the junta and ECOWAS negotiators on 6 April, in which both Sanogo and Touré would resign, sanctions would be lifted, the mutineers would be granted amnesty, and power would pass to National Assembly of Mali Speaker Diouncounda Traoré.[80] Following Traoré's inauguration, he pledged to "wage a total and relentless war" on the Tuareg rebels unless they released their control of northern Malian cities.[81] Continued offensive During the uncertainty following the coup, the rebels launched an offensive with the aim of capturing several towns and army camps abandoned by the Malian army.[82] Though the offensive ostensibly included both the MNLA and Ansar Dine, according to Jeremy Keenan of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, Ansar Dine's military contribution was slight: "What seems to happen is that when they move into a town, the MNLA take out the military base – not that there's much resistance – and Iyad [ag Aghaly] goes into town and puts up his flag and starts bossing everyone around about sharia law."[83] On 30 March 2012, the rebels seized control of Kidal, the capital of Kidal Region,[84] as well as Ansongo and Bourem in Gao Region.[85] On 31 March, Gao fell to the rebels, and both MNLA and Ansar Dine flags appeared in the city.[43] The following day, rebels attacked Timbuktu, the last major government-controlled city in the north; they captured it with little fighting.[86] The speed and ease with which the rebels took control of the north was attributed in large part to the confusion created in the army's coup, leading Reuters to describe it as "a spectacular own-goal".[87] On 6 April 2012, stating that it had secured all of its desired territory, the MNLA declared independence from Mali. However, the declaration was rejected as invalid by the African Union and the European Union.[88] Islamist–nationalist conflict After the withdrawal of Malian government forces from the region, former co-belligerents Ansar Dine, MOJWA, and the MNLA soon found themselves in conflict with each other as well as the populace. On 5 April 2012, Islamists, possibly from AQIM or MOJWA, entered the Algerian consulate in Gao and took hostages.[89] The MNLA succeeded in negotiating their release without violence, and one MNLA commander said that the movement had decided to disarm other armed groups.[90] On 8 April, a mostly Arab militia calling itself the National Liberation Front of Azawad (FNLA) announced its intention to oppose Tuareg rule, battle the MNLA, and "return to peace and economic activity"; the group claimed to consist of 500 fighters.[91] The MNLA clashed with protesters in Gao on 14 May, reportedly injuring four and killing one.[92] On 6 June, residents of Kidal protested against the imposition of Sharia in the town and in support of MNLA, protests which were violently dispersed by Ansar Dine members. By the night of 8 June, MNLA and Ansar Dine rebels clashed against each other in the city with automatic weapons, with two dying in the skirmish.[93] In early June, Nigerien president Mahamadou Issoufou stated that Afghan and Pakistani jihadists were training Azawadi Islamist rebels.[94] Battle of Gao and aftermath Further information: Battle of Gao Clashes began to escalate between the MNLA and the Islamists after a merger attempt failed,[95] despite the signing of a power-sharing treaty.[7] Protests broke out on 26 June 2012 in the city of Gao, the majority of whose people are not Tuaregs (as opposed to the MNLA), but rather sub-Saharan groups such as the Songhay and Fula peoples. The protestors opposed the Tuareg rebels and the partition of Mali. Two were killed as a result of the protests, allegedly by MNLA troops.[96] The protesters used both Malian and Islamist flags, and France 24 reported that many locals supported the Islamists as a result of their opposition to the Tuareg nationalists and the secession of Azawad.[97] On 26 June 2012, the tension came to all-out combat in Gao between the MNLA and MOJWA, with both sides firing heavy weapons. MNLA Secretary General Bilal ag Acherif was wounded in the battle.[98] The MNLA were soon driven from

the city,[99] and from Kidal and Timbuktu shortly after. However, the MNLA stated that it continued to maintain forces and control some rural areas in the region.[100] As of October 2012, the MNLA retained control of the city of Ménaka, with hundreds of people taking refuge in the city from the rule of the Islamists, and the city of Tinzawatine near the Algerian border.[101] In the same month, a splinter group broke off from the MNLA; calling itself the Front for the Liberation of the Azawad (FPA), the group stated that Tuareg independence was no longer a realistic goal and that they must concentrate on fighting the Islamists.[102] Takeover of Douentza and Ménaka On 1 September 2012, MOJWA took over the southern town of Douentza, which had previously been held by a Songhai secular militia, the Ganda Iso (Songhai for "Sons of the Land"). A MOJWA spokesman said that the group had had an agreement with the Ganda Iso, but had decided to occupy the town when the militia appeared to be acting independently, and gained control of the town following a brief standoff with Ganda Iso.[103] Once MOJWA troops surrounded the city, the militia reportedly surrendered without a fight and were disarmed.[103][104] On 16 November 2012, Tuareg MNLA forces launched an offensive against Gao in an attempt to retake the town. However, by the end of the day, the Tuaregs were beaten back by the MOJWA forces after the Islamists laid an ambush for them. A Malian security source said that at least a dozen MNLA fighters were killed while the Islamists suffered only one dead. An MNLA official stated that their forces killed 13 MOJWA fighters and wounded 17, while they suffered only nine wounded.[35] On 19 November 2012, MOJWA and AQIM forces took over the eastern town of Ménaka, which had previously been held by the MNLA, with dozens of fighters from both sides and civilians killed. On the first day of fighting, the MNLA claimed its forces killed 65 Islamist fighters, while they suffered only one dead and 13 wounded. The Islamists for their part stated they killed more than 100 MNLA fighters and captured 20.[36] Foreign intervention Main article: Opération Serval Following requests from both the Mali government and ECOWAS for foreign military intervention,[105] on 12 October 2012 the United Nations Security Council unanimously,[106] under Chapter VII of the UN Charter,[107] passed a French resolution approving an African-led force to assist the army of Mali in combating the Islamist militants.[108] The resolution gave 45 days for "detailed and actionable recommendations"[105] for military intervention which would be drafted by ECOWAS and the African Union,[106] with a figure of 3,000 proposed troops reported.[105] A prior ECOWAS plan was rejected by diplomats as lacking sufficient detail.[108] While authorising the planning of force, and dedicating UN resources to this planning,[106] the resolution does not authorize the deployment of force.[105] An AFP report stated that such a second resolution authorizing a military deployment "is not expected to happen before the end of the year."[106] On 8 January 2013, rebels were reported by Al Jazeera to have captured 12 Malian government troops near the town of Konna.[29] On the same day, RFI reports that governmental troops fired warning shots and slightly progressed from Konna toward Douentza.[109] Battle of Konna and arrival of foreign forces See also: Battle of Konna On 10 January 2013, Islamist forces captured the strategic town of Konna, located 600km from the capital, from the Malian army.[110] Later, an estimated 1,200 Islamist fighters advanced to within 20 kilometers of Mopti, a nearby Mali military garrison town.[24] The following day, the French military launched Opération Serval, intervening in the conflict.[111] According to analysts, the French were forced to act sooner than planned because of the importance of Sévaré military airport, located 60km south of Konna, for further operations.[112] The operation included the use of Gazelle helicopters from the Special forces, which stopped an Islamist column advancing to Mopti, and the use of four Mirage 2000-D jets operating from a base in Chad. 12 targets were hit by the Mirages during the night between the 11th and the 12th. The French chief of army staff, Amiral Guillaud, announced that the Islamists had withdrawn from Konna and retreated several dozen of kilometres into the north.[113] The air strikes reportedly destroyed half a dozen Islamist armed pick-up trucks[114] and a rebel command center. One French pilot, Lieutenant Damien Boiteux, was killed after his attack helicopter was downed by ground fire during the operation.[115][116] During the night of 11 January 2013, the Malian army, backed by French troops, took back control of the town of Konna,[117] and claimed to have killed over 100 Islamists. Afterwards, a Malian lieutenant said that mopping up operations were taking places around Konna.[112] AFP witnesses had seen dozens of Islamist corpses around Konna, with one saying he counted 46 bodies.[118][119] The French stated four rebel vehicles were hit by their airstrikes,[120] while the Mali Army claimed nearly 30 vehicles were bombed. Several dozens of Malian soldiers[28] and 10 civilians were also killed. A resident of Gao, the headquarters of the MUJAO, said that the city's hospital had been overwhelmed with dead and wounded.[121] In all, one local residented counted 148 bodies around Konna.[28] In the wake of the French deployment, ECOWAS said that it had ordered troops to be deployed immediately to Mali, the UN Security Council said that the previously planned UN-led force would be deployed in the near future, and the European Union said it had increased preparations for sending military training troops into Mali.[122] On 12 January the UK announced it was deploying two C17 transport planes in a non-combat role to ferry primarily French but also potentially African forces into Mali.[123] Human rights concerns In May 2012, Amnesty International released a report stating that the conflict had created Mali's worst human rights situation since 1960. The organization stated that fighters with the MNLA and Ansar Dine were "running riot" in Mali's north,[124] and documented instances of gang rape, extrajudicial executions, and the use of child soldiers by both Tuareg and Islamist groups.[125] On 3 April 2012, armed groups looted 2,354 tons of food from United Nations' World Food Programme's warehouses in Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu, causing the WFP to suspend its operations in northern Mali.[126] Other targets of looting included hospitals, hotels, government offices, Oxfam offices and the offices and warehouses of other unnamed aid groups.[127] The WFP also stated that 200,000 had so far fled the fighting, predicting that the number would rise.[128] Ansar Dine also blocked a humanitarian convoy bringing medical and food aid from reaching Timbuktu

on 15 May, objecting to the presence of women in the welcoming committee set up by city residents;[129] after negotiations, the convoy was released on the following day.[130] The group reportedly banned video games, Malian and Western music, bars, and football in Gao[129] and ransacked alcohol-serving establishments in both Gao and Kidal.[38] Islamist forces were also reported to have intervened against looters and ordered women to wear head scarves. The CNRDR's spokesman Amadou Konare claimed that "women and girls have been kidnapped and raped by the new occupants who are laying down their own law."[44] The anti-slavery organization Temedt claims that ex-slaves were the first targeted for punishment by Islamist forces and that former masters have used the violence to recapture exslaves.[131] On 29 July 2012, a couple was stoned to death for having children outside of marriage by Islamists in Aguelhok. An official reported that many people left the town for Algeria following the incident.[132] On 9 August, Islamist militants chopped off the hand of an alleged thief in the town of Ansongo, despite a crowd pleading with the militants for mercy.[133] During the conflict, Islamists also damaged or destroyed a number of historical sites on the grounds that they were idolatrous, particularly in Timbuktu, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On 4 May 2012, Ansar Dine members reportedly burned the tomb of a Sufi saint.[134] In late June, Islamists attacked several more sites in Timbuktu with pickaxes and shovels.[135] The Tuaregs and Arabs who lived in Bamako and elsewhere in southern Mali were subjects of a rash of ethnic attacks by "black" Malians (as opposed to Mediterranean Arabs and racially mixed Tuaregs), despite many of them being hostile to Azawad separatism as well as the Islamists. In fact, many of these actually had only recently come to the "South", fleeing the violence in the North.[136] References 1. ^ "Gunfire breaks out as Tuareg rebels enter northern Mali city". The Gazette (Montreal). 31 March 2012. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Gunfire+breaks+Tuareg+rebels+enter+northern+Mali+city/6391463/st ory.html. Retrieved 1 April 2012.[dead link] 2. ^ Couamba Sylla (4 April 2012). "Tuareg-jihadists alliance: Qaeda conquers more than half of Mali". middleeast-online.com. http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51578. Retrieved 6 April 2012. a b 3. ^ "Traore readies to take over in Mali". News24. 12 April 2012. http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Traore-readies-to-take-over-in-Mali-20120411. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 4. ^ Hirsch, Afua (22 March 2012). "Mali rebels claim to have ousted regime in coup". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/22/mali-rebels-coup. 5. ^ "Communiqué N°14-04-04-2012Fin des Opérations Militaires". Mnlamov.net. http://www.mnlamov.net/actualites/34-actualites/166-la-fin-des-operations-militaires.html. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 6. ^ "Tuaregs claim 'independence' from Mali". Al Jazeera. 6 April 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/04/20124644412359539.html. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 7. ^ a b "Mali Tuareg and Islamist rebels ″agree on Sharia state". BBC News. 26 May 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18224004. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 8. ^ Flood, Zoe (29 June 2012). "Trouble in Timbuktu as Islamists extend control". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/mali/9365390/Trouble-in-Timbuktu-asIslamists-extend-control.html. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 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117. ^ "Malian army retakes central town from Islamists". Reuters. 26 December 2012. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/11/us-mali-rebels-konna-idUSBRE90A14E20130111. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 118. ^ "French Gunships Stop Mali Islamist Advance". Agence France-Presse. 12 January 2013. http://www.chillnews.net/worldnews/french-gunships-stop-mali-islamist-advance/8891. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 119. ^ Mali: Hollande réunit son conseil de Défense à l'Elysée 120. ^ Gazelle Downed in French Air Raid, Soldier Killed 121. ^ France bombs Mali rebels, African states ready troops 122. ^ "France confirms Mali military intervention". BBC News. 11 January 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20991719. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 123. ^ "Britain to send aircraft to Mali to assist French fight against rebels". The Guardian. 12 January 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/12/mali-somalia-france-rebels-islamist-francois-hollande. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 124. ^ Afua Hirsch (15 May 2012). "Mali rebels face backlash after months of instability and violence". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/16/mali-rebels-instability-violence?newsfeed=true. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 125. ^ "Mali's worst human rights situation in 50 years". Amnesty International. 16 May 2012. http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/mali-s-worst-human-rights-situation-50-years-2012-05-15. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 126. ^ "UN Council Hammers out Condemnation of Mali Conflict". Agence France-Presse. 3 April 2012. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jZ9grPfu0TWqNu4VZE6rRlTWKRCA?docId=CNG. 18f2de9d4c145d61a54efeb26eb8e9ae.131. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 127. ^ George Fominyen (3 April 2012). "WFP suspends some operations in Mali after food aid looted". Reuters. alert.net. http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/wfp-suspends-some-operations-in-mali-after-food-aid-looted. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 128. ^ "Mali: 200,000 flee fighting, UN World Food Programme suspends aid in north". Agence France-Presse. 3 April 2012. http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Mali+flee+fighting+World+Food+Programme+suspends+north/6402495/ story.html. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 129. ^ a b "Islamists block first Mali aid convoy to Timbuktu". Reuters. 15 May 2012. http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/islamists-block-first-mali-aid-convoy-to-timbuktu/. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 130. ^ "Mali Islamists to let first aid convoy enter Timbuktu". The Chicago Tribune. Reuters. 15 May 2012. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-malibre84e13o-20120515,0,2786860.story. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 131. ^ Tran, Mark (23 October 2012). "Mali conflict puts freedom of 'slave descendants' in peril". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/oct/23/mali-conflict-freedom-slave-descendants-peril. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 132. ^ Adam Nossiter (30 January 2012). "Islamists in North Mali Stone Couple to Death". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/31/world/africa/couple-stoned-to-death-by-islamists-in-mali.html. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 133. ^ "Mali 'thief's' hand amputated by Islamists in Ansongo". BBC News. 9 August 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19195985. Retrieved 9 August 2012. 134. ^ "Rebels burn Timbuktu tomb listed as U.N. World Heritage site". CNN. 6 May 2012. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/05/world/africa/mali-heritage-sites/index.html?hpt=hp_t3. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 135. ^ "Timbuktu shrines damaged by Mali Ansar Dine Islamists". BBC News. 30 July 2012. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6AGi8m3nE. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 136. ^ "Mali coup: Tuaregs tell of ethnic attacks". BBC News. 17 May 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worldafrica-18057916.

A Tuareg fighter arms a machine gun in northern Mali - Islamist fighters in northern Mali

Islamist fighters in northern Mali - Crossroads in Sévaré.

Pro-government militia members training in Sevare

Tuareg rebellion (2007–2009)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

See also: Tuareg rebellion (1962–1964), Tuareg rebellion (1990–1995), and Tuareg rebellion (2012)
Date Location Status February 2007 - February/May 2009 Northern Niger and Northeast Mali August 2008/February 2009 Peace deals in Mali. Integration of rebels into military. May 2009 Ceasefire and Amnesty in Niger. Niger:Niger Movement for Justice Front of Forces for Rectification (2008 split) Nigerian Patriotic Front (2009 split) Mali:23 May ADC Group ATMNC, (2008 split) Niger: Aghaly ag Alambo Mali: Ibrahim Ag Bahanga Hassan Fagaga

Niger

Mali

Niger: Mamadou Ousseini, Army Chief of Staff

Niger: 4,000 to 12,000[1] Mali: unknown Niger: ~70[3]-159[4] Mali: ~60 killed[6] killed 100+ captured[5]

Niger: 500-2,000 Mali: 165-400+[2] ~200 killed[3]

Civilian casualties: at least 10 Malian,[7] 10 - hundreds of Nigerien civilians killed[8] The Tuareg Rebellion of 2007–2009 was an insurgency that began in February 2007 amongst elements of the Tuareg people living in the Sahara desert regions of northern Mali and Niger. It is one of a series of insurgencies by formerly nomadic Tuareg populations, which had last appeared in the mid-1990s, and date back at least to 1916. Populations dispersed to Algeria and Libya, as well as to the south of Niger and Mali in the 1990s returned only in the late 1990s. Former fighters were to be integrated into national militaries, but the process has been slow and caused increased resentment. Malian Tuaregs had conducted some raids in 2005-2006, which ended in a renewed peace agreement. Fighting in both nations was carried on largely in parallel, but not in concert. While fighting was mostly confined to guerrilla attacks and army counterattacks, large portions of the desert north of each nation were no-go zones for the military and civilians fled to regional capitals like Kidal Mali and Agadez Niger. Fighting was largely contained within Mali's Kidal Region and Niger's Agadez Region. Algeria helped negotiate an August 2008 Malian peace deal, which was broken by a rebel faction in December, crushed by the Malian military and wholescale defections of rebels to the government. Niger saw heavy fighting and disruption of Uranium production in the mountainous north, before a Libyan backed peace deal, aided by a factional split among the rebels, brought a negotiated ceasefire and amnesty in May 2009. Timeline Attacks beginning in February 2007 by the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ) targeted outposts of the Nigerien Armed Forces and foreign economic interests.[9] The group said they were fighting for greater economic development and a share in the region's mineral wealth, an end to alleged pollution caused by and poverty surrounding the mining operations at Arlit.[10] The area of Niger affected is home to some of the world's largest uranium deposits, and the French operated uranium mines of the desert town of Arlit account for a fifth of the world's uranium deposits and most of Niger's foreign exchange income.[11] In September 2007, fighting shifted to Mali, with a portion of the Tuareg groups which had come under a 2006 ceasefire returning to combat. A swift Malian military response, coupled with the diplomatic intervention of other Malian Tuaregs, led to a new, unofficial ceasefire in December 2007. In April, with the help of Libya, a formal ceasefire was declared, though it was quickly followed by new, retributive attacks from both sides. Resumed diplomatic and military pressure, with the intervention of Algerian diplomacy, brought what appeared to be a final reintegration of the Malian rebel factions in July 2008, along much the same lines of the 2006 peace plan. After both Libyan and Algerian sponsored peace talks, Malian rebel leader Ibrahim Ag Bahanga relocated to Libya and the remaining Malian rebels and government concluded a settlement to the conflict. In December 2008, Ag Bahanga's faction of the ADC (Alliance Touareg Nord Mali pour le Changement—ATNMC) returned to conflict in a series of attacks and counterattacks in the far north. This splinter group, despite a series of daring raids deep into populated areas, were decisively defeated by the Malian Army during January 2009, supported by an increasing number of former rebels. In February 2009, elements surrounding Ag Bahanga again fled Mali for Libya, while both Libya and Algeria pledged support to end rebel attacks and support negotiations. ADC fighters negotiated a return to the disarmament agreed in 2008, and began being processed for integration into the Malian Armed Forces in camps near Kidal. Both conflicts were brought under increased international attention following the kidnapping in late 2008 in Niger of two Canadian diplomats and four European tourists by groups associated with Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, who held their victims somewhere in northern Mali. Libya, Algeria, Mali, and Niger pledged in March 2009 to cooperate to secure the Saharan borders where Tuareg rebels and AQIM militants, as well as smugglers and criminal gangs, operated. In Niger, fighting flared after a Ramadan truce in 2007, with land-mine attacks and incursions reaching areas in the south and center of the nation previously unaffected. The Nigerien government, rejecting any negotiations, pursued a crackdown on rebel forces and declared a state of emergency in the north which by December 2007 threatened to spark a humanitarian crisis. High profile arrests of domestic and foreign media, the expulsion of European NGOs from the area, and the reported human rights practices of the Nigerien Armed Forces in the Agadez Region have led to criticism of the Nigerien government abroad, and continued fighting in the north. Despite government military victories in early 2008, and condemnation for a hostage seizure and land-mine attacks (for which the rebels deny responsibility), the MNJ appeared no closer to either defeat or overthrow of the Nigerien government as the rainy season approached in August 2008. The return and then splintering away from the main rebel group of factional leaders from the 1990s conflict complicated the situation in 2008. One group joined the rebels, only to be expelled and sign a peace deal with the government of Niger. Another faction, which seemed to have been involved in the political front, appeared and quickly split in early 2008. Irregular fighting and raids occurred throughout late 2008, but these were mostly limited to the rebel strongholds in the Aïr Mountains. Suppression of domestic and international press access, as well as the expulsion of aid agencies from the Agadez Region by the government has meant that there was little independent confirmation of the situation in northern Niger throughout 2008. The Nigerien rebels pursued a strategy of expanding the ethnic makeup of their forces, and attempted—with little success in the south—to broaden the insurgency into a social movement to replace the current government and provide the population with a share in Niger's growing mining sector. By the beginning of 2009, rebel attempts to impinge upon Nigerien uranium production had, according to mining officials, little effect. The effects on the population of the north has been

pronounced, with the regional capitol of Agadez hosting thousands of refugees, economic activity outside the towns grinding to a halt, and the destruction of a burgeoning foreign tourist industry in the north of the country. The 2009 peace in Mali was seen as a model for a February civil society conference in Niamey. In March 2009 a dramatic split of much of the MNJ leadership resulted in the former MNJ head fleeing to Libya, who aided delivering Nigerien Armed Forces prisoners home. The new Nigerien Patriotic Front (FPN), which contained much of the MNJ's fighters and leadership, called for a negotiated peace. They, along with an earlier splinter, entered into four-party talks with the Nigerien government under Libyan auspices from March to June 2009. All sides pledged an immediate ceasefire in May 2009, while pursuing talks for a permanent peace and an amnesty for all former rebels. Causes of conflict Niger Niger rebels claimed that their government failed to honor a 1995 peace deal, which ended the 1990s Tuareg insurgency and promised them a bigger share of the region's mineral wealth.[12] Nigerien Tuareg leaders and some Non Government Organisations have claimed the violence of February 2007 was the culmination of widespread disaffection amongst Tuareg ex-combatants with the slow progress of promised benefits, lack of functioning democratic institutions, and a perceived special status given to foreign mining interests and southern political leaders.[13] As part of an initiative started under a 1991 National Conference, the peace accords of 15 April 1995 with all Tuareg (and some Toubou) rebel groups were negotiated with Government of Niger in Ouagadougou, the final armed group signing up in 1998. The peace deal repatriating thousands of refugees and fighters, mostly from camps across the Libyan border. Large numbers of fighters were integrated into the Nigerien Armed Forces and, with French assistance, help others return to a productive civilian life. Controversy continued to revolve around Tuareg leaders brought into government, with the arrest of the Minister of Tourism Rhissa ag Boula in February 2004 and his March 2005 release after being held in jail for more than a year on suspicion of involvement in a political murder,[14] while Mano Dayak, a Tuareg leader and negotiator who led the Tuareg rebellion in the Tenere region died in a suspicious plane crash in 1995. Niger's Tuaregs continued to watch the development and economic activities of the government closely, especially in regards the Aïr Mountains' burgeoning tourist trade, and Arlit's recovering uranium industry. By 2000, sporadic banditry and attacks, ascribed to disaffected ex-combatants, began in the north. In 2007, a unified force of ex-combatants repudiated the 1995 accords and declared the formation of the MNJ. The Niger Movement for Justice (Mouvement des Nigériens pour la justice, MNJ) was led by Aghaly ag Alambo, a former member of the Front de libération de l'Aïr et de l'Azawagh (FLAA), and Mohamed Acharif, a former captain in the Nigerien Armed Forces who defected to the rebels in May 2007.[15] Little evidence of the motivation or make up of the Niger-based rebels was public by the summer of 2007 aside from the statements released by the MNJ and the Nigerien government. The government of Niger claimed that these attacks were the work of small-scale "bandits" and drug-trafficking gangs, and also suggested "foreign interests" (or the French mining company Areva, specifically) were funding the rebel forces.[16] Three newspapers in Niger which speculated that Libya might be behind the rebel group were threatened with legal action by the Libyan government.[17] On the other hand, the MNJ statements portrayed their movement as Niger-wide (as opposed to Tuareg nationalism) and limited to the demand for economic, political and environmental reforms.[18] Tuareg demands in Niger On 21 December 2007, Ahmed Akoli Akoli, then the political secretary of the MNJ, outlined the group's demands as[19][20] decentralization and "ethnic balance", a greater share and transparency in the extraction of northern resources, with government and military in the north "recruited from the Tuareg population... and not an army consisting mainly of members of other ethnic clans who serve their own purposes, and who do not identify with the Tuareg people". This seemed to step back from the previous demands for the removal of the current government. Mali Agaly Alambo, from Iferouane in northern Niger, was apparently inspired by the Mali-based Tuareg group May 23, 2006 Democratic Alliance for Change (23 May 2006; Alliance démocratique pour le changement - ADC), excombatants who led a short campaign in the north of Mali from May to July 2006, when they signed a peace deal with the Bamako government.[21] Malian Tuareg former insurgents took part in a long series of peace processes, splintering, and raids between formal peace in 1995 and 2006. The peace deals which ended the 1990s Tuareg insurgency in Mali created a new self-governing region, Kidal Region, and provided opportunities for Malian Tuaregs to join the central government in Bamako and the Malian Armed Forces. Unlike the Niger ex-combatants, who appeared successfully integrated into national the Nigerien Armed Forces, small numbers of Malian Tuaregs remained restive, complaining of the Kidal region's poverty. Some were involved in cross border smuggling, and crime was endemic in the region. A splinter faction of the Tuareg ex-combatants rose as the ADC in 2006. After agreeing to a ceasefire, these forces apparently splintered further in 2007.[22] Attacks in the extreme northeast of Mali began to grow in number and intensity in August 2007, as reports appeared that the ADC splinter group, led by former combatant Ibrahim Ag Bahanga claimed these attackers had formally confederated with the Niger-based MNJ.[23] The MNJ formally denied this, but witnesses of one kidnapping attack in Mali said the rebels had moved back towards the Niger border.[24] Former Malian rebel leaders, notably the 1990s commander Lyad Ag Ghaly, denounced the 2007 violence and called on the Bahanga group to cease their attacks and offered to negotiate on behalf of the Bamako government.[25] Niger 2007 February–July After the February 2007 attack on a Nigerian Army detachment in the north of the country that killed 3 soldiers, sporadic attacks occurred around Iférouane, Arlit and Ingall. On 18 April, the MNJ was formally announced as having organised, and attacks picked up in June and July. Landmines on the road between Iférouane and Arlit cut off both towns and threatened the bring the lucrative uranium mining industry to a halt.[26] Between 18 and 22 June, Niger

experienced the most daring and deadliest attacks to that point in the conflict. MNJ rebels attacked the airport at Agadez, the second most important in the country and a center of Niger's tourism industry, though they did little damage. On 22 June rebels attacked an isolated army post at Tezirzaït, killing 15 soldiers and taking 70 hostages.[27] Uranium mines crises The economy of northern Niger is largely dependent on tourism and uranium mining. While tourism was threatened by the insurgency, uranium mining, which accounts for 16 percent of Niger's GDP and 72 percent of national export proceeds, became of central importance in the conflict. In October 2006, Tuareg leader Boutali Tchiwerin issued a statement condemning the ecological impact and lack of jobs from the Arlit based mining industry. The MNJ has echoed these statements repeatedly, and attacked the power station for a mining facility near Arlit in April 2007. In June 2007, land mines were laid on the main route the uranium ore from Arlit takes to the ports of Benin. All of Arlit's ore is processed and transported by a French company Areva NC, a holding of the Areva group, itself a state owned operation of the French Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA). The system of French nuclear power generation, as well as the French nuclear weapons program, is dependent on uranium mined at Arlit.[28] In June and July 2007, the head of Areva's Niger operations Dominique Pin and his security chief Gilles Denamur, a retired colonel in the French Army and former military attaché to the French embassy in Niger, came into the spotlight. Pin admitted that the April attacks had caused them to cease operations for a month, and his security chief said that landmines prevented ore shipments. The MNJ, on the other hand, claimed that the government had been laying Chinese-made landmines throughout the region. Tensions between the French company and the government were longstanding. The government of Niger had concluded a deal with a Chinese state owned company China Nuclear International Uranium Corporation (SinoU) to begin mining at Teguida, in the midst of the Tuareg winter pasturing lands and the fall Cure Salee festival at Ingall. The government expected a greater share of the proceeds of these new mines than it has received from the Arlit operations dominated by the former colonial power.[29] More than a dozen prospecting contracts have been offered to companies from Canada and Europe as well, and there are also worries amongst the French that the Arlit mines, nearing the end of their useful life, must soon be replaced by new concessions. Areva has begun work on a new mine outside Arlit, but even prior to this conflict, it was not expected to be operational for a number of years. On 6 July 2007, an official from Sino-U was kidnapped by the rebels, but later released, and all work at Teguida stopped.[30] Throughout July, the Niger government and Areva came into direct conflict, each accusing the other of supporting the rebels. The French state broadcaster RFI was ejected from the country for a month on 19 July 2007, and in short succession both Pin and Denamur were ordered to leave Niger. On 1 August, the Niamey government announced it would end all contracts with Areva, and bring in the Chinese to manage the existing operations. High level French diplomats flew to Niger and brokered a climb down, in which the Areva contracts would be extended in exchange for greater French aid to Niamey.[31] The French paper Le Monde expressed doubts about this deal, calling it "Expensive uranium."[32] Growing violence While the situation calmed diplomatically, the attacks by the MNJ escalated and ebbed unpredictably. Iférouane, on the western cusp of the Aïr Mountains, and a center of both Tuareg culture and tourist visits had up to 80 percent of its population moved south by the government in August. The MNJ and the government promised safe access to refugees and aid, and on 4 August, Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi brokered the release of soldiers kidnapped by the MNJ, and the situation appeared to be calming.[26] Despite that hopeful sign, it appeared that the tourist center of Agadez (well to the southeast of Arlit) could be empty during the fall/winter 2007 tourist season.[33] On 30 August, the largest tourist air carrier running flights from Europe to Agadez announced it would suspend flights for the 2007 tourist season,[17] and the MNJ released a communique saying the Tuareg Cure Salee festival, which draws increasing numbers of foreign tourists, should be canceled.[34] On 24 August 2007 Niger's president Mamadou Tandja declared a state of alert in the Agadez Region, giving the security forces extra powers to fight the insurgency. This marks only the third such declaration in the history of the Republic.[35] It was unclear by late September whether the violence had lessened in northern Niger as a result of negotiations with the MNJ, or whether new violence was simply being effectively suppressed. Organisations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists reported the arrest without trial of over 100 northerners in the wake of the declaration, including those who tried to lead a peace march in Agadez. In July, the only daily paper in Agadez was shut down by the government for publishing news of the rebellion, and Bamako based journalists have been similarly threatened. Domestic human rights groups claim there has been an effort to keep foreign journalists from reporting on the crisis in Niger,[36] and this could account for the seeming shift of rebel violence to Mali.[37][38][39] Military defections By August 2007 the MNJ claimed defections from the army had increased their numbers to over 2000 fighters. Some sources claim that defections included the entire Niger Rapid Intervention Company, a special forces unit trained by the United States Military to conduct anti-terrorist operations in 2003-2006.[40][41][42][43][44] There have also been reports that this same unit had been used to guard the mining operations in Arlit by the French mining conglomerate Areva NC, or that it (and the rebel movement) had been created by the government itself in order to ratchet up tension in the region and thereby secure Western military aid.[45][46] Rebel offensives in Mali May 2007 - January 2008 Early unrest in 2006 In March 2006, Malian army officer Hassan ag Fagaga, of Tuareg origins, defected from his post with a number of his men, also of Tuareg origins, On 17 May, an attack was launched on the Malian Army at Tin Zawaten, near the meeting of the Mali, Algerian, and Niger borders.[47] On 22 May 2006, a number of former Tuareg rebel, including Hassan ag Fagaga and Ibrahim ag Bahanga intensified their campaign with the simultaneous seizing of

arms and material from the military bases in Menaka and Kidal, after which the assailants took to the former rebel bases from the 1990s in the Tigharghar mountains of the Kidal region.[48] Upsurge of violence Mali saw the more dramatic upsurge in August 2007, as a spate of attacks began in northeast Mali against members of the Malian military. The Niger-based MNJ said that it has formally allied splinter elements of Tuareg rebel group which has remained on ceasefire since reaching a settlement with the Malian government in July 2007. On 28 August, Tuareg gunmen captured a military convoy 50 km from the town of Tinsawatene, near the border with Algeria.[49] Both the Malian government and the general populace appeared shocked by the level of violence in the north of Kidal, Ménaka and the Sahel region, as well as by the effectiveness of the rebel force, which the government claimed was led by Ibrahim Bahanga, a Malian Armed Forces officer who had deserted early in the summer of 2007. The government also claimed that rebel forces were involved in organized crime and drug smuggling.[50] Bahanga, a former rebel from the May 2006 and 1990 insurgencies, announced on 31 August that his group would negotiate with the government, and intermediaries from former Tuareg rebel groups headed by 1990s commander Lyad Ag Ghaly, as well as Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, offered to mediate. At the same time, former rebel commander—and fatherin-law of Bahanga—Hama Ag Sidahmed announced the creation of a Niger-Mali Tuareg alliance (the AllianceTouareg-Niger-Mali, ATNM), though this was denied by another group, claiming to represent the ARC.[51] On 13 September, a United States military aircraft was fired on by Tuareg rebels at Tin-Zaouatene, Mali, where the town remained surrounded by rebel forces for at least four days. A C-130 aircraft was air-dropping supplies to Malian troops when it was hit, but returned safely to base. United States officials did not say if they would continue to re-supply the Malian Army, but one official said the "occurrence was not regular". The same reports also alleged that several unnamed army posts in the far northeast were similarly surrounded.[52] The international press reported that TinZaouatene was being reinforced by the Malian army on 18 September, and that the rebels had withrawn.[53] At the same time, a series of storms hit the Sahel region, running all the way to Ethiopia. These storms caused unusually severe flooding and damage and endangered those internally displaced by the conflict in Mali and Niger, as well as displaced persons fleeing other conflicts in Chad, Darfur and Ethiopia.[54] Seasonal constraints Any military action in the Sahel region is constrained by the tropical rain cycles, with the May to September rainy season making communication and transport in the region south of the Sahara difficult at the best of times. Both the Malian and Niger conflicts peaked during the dry season on 2007-2008, beginning at the end of 2007 and ending in May 2008. Major conflict in Mali spiked in August and September 2007 as the rains ended and pastoralists moved their herds. Following the siege of Kidal, fighting remained sporadic in Mali after the beginning of 2008, but continued heavily in Niger. As the dry season began, unusual rains struck Mali and Niger with particular ferocity. As a result, the governments of the two nations began to take markedly different strategies for confronting the Tuareg rebellion.[55][56][57][58] March–July 2008 rebel offensive In March 2008, Mali again saw an upsurge in attacks committed by fragments of former Tuareg combatant groups in the far-northeastern Kidal region. The Malian government, along with Tuareg leaders who had kept the 2006 ceasefire, pushed both a military and diplomatic strategy. In March, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya negotiated the release of Malian army prisoners held by the rebels, and sporadic talks were held with Libyan mediation. Malian armed forces remained in control of all the major settlements, but Malian rebels staged a series of raids, the largest taking place at the end of March. Rebel forces attacked a convoy near Abeibara in the east, killing 7 and capturing 20 soldiers and four military vehicles.[59] A 4 April ceasefire and prisoner exchange was negotiated again through Libya, but each side accused the others of failing to end hostilities, and more sporadic attacks on Army positions occurred in May. In early June, rebels killed 25 soldiers in an attack on a Kidal base, and in late June the Malian Army killed 20 rebels near the Algerian border, which the army claimed was home to a major rebel base. But just days later, President Amadou Toumani Touré announced that he remained open to negotiations with the Tuareg rebels, while at the same time agreeing to a joint-security deal with Algeria.[60] On 18 July, rebels overran a military post at Tessalit, taking 20 prisoners in addition to many supplies.[61] August 2008 ceasefire In Mali, where the government combined military reinforcement of northern towns with diplomatic efforts using Malian Tuareg intermediaries, attacks subsided. Mali, continuing to suffer from flooding in the south, as well as global hikes in food prices, turned to international support, especially from Algeria, and seemed eager to engage domestic Tuaregs who continued to honor the 2006 cease-fire. The high-profile support of former rebel leader Lyad Ag Ghaly as a mediator by the Malian government led many to believe that low-scale fighting with those Tuareg factions who had renounced the 2006 accords might end completely. The Malian government also called on neighboring Algeria to help negotiate peace, patrol the deserted border region, and resupply its northern military bases[62] On 18 July, just two days after rebels overran a military post,[61] a peace deal was announced, revealing that Algeria had been hosting talks between the government of Mali and the leadership of the "Alliance démocratique du 23 mai". The Algerian ambassador to Mali, Abdelkrim Ghrieb, had negotiated the deal, between Amada Ag Bibi (a Malian Tuareg Deputy in the Malian National Assembly) for the rebels and General Kafougouna Koné, Malian Minister of the Interior, for the Malian government. 92 prisoners held by the rebels would be released, amnesties were promised for rebels, and re-integration into the military along the lines of the 2006 deal was promised for Tuareg fighters. This agreement held throughout 2008, and by the end of the year the Malian conflict seemed resolved. This was also a success for Algeria as a regional power, and rival of the Libyan government for influence in the Sahara.[63] Throughout the process, the Malian government, as well as Tuareg leaders on both sides of the conflict, publicly pushed for a negotiated settlement, in contrast with the Nigerien

conflict. Cherif Ouazani was quoted in Algeria as describing the talks as "Malians talking to Malians"[64] While the last of the rebel-held prisoners were released in August, and the ceasefire held as of the end of that month,[65] there continued to be speculation on the role played by presumed Mai 23 leader Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, who had not participated in the Algerian sponsored tripartite talks. Press speculation theorised a split in the already fractured movement, in which Toureg groups loyal to the Kel Adagh had fully participated in the eventual peace process, which seemed to have resolved the conflict since August 2008. Meanwhile, a smaller group around Ag Bahanga had been holding out for Libyan-sponsored mediation, and eventually abandoned the talks and sought refuge in Libya.[66] Continued conflict in Niger: late 2007 to mid-2008 Escalating violence and humanitarian crisis In Niger, the government strategy was to continue military pressure on the MNJ, declaring them criminal gangs with whom they will have no negotiations. As the MNJ was apparently the larger and more organized of the two rebel forces, much of the northern regions of the country remained under emergency decrees. Aid and press barred Press and international aid agencies complained that they had been prevented from monitoring the situation or delivering aid as both sides in the fighting reported that the conflict was continuing to escalate. Humanitarian agencies in Niamey estimated in early December that there were around 11,000 people displaced by the fighting, in addition to the 9,000 Nigeriens who lost their homes in heavy flooding. Doctors Without Borders claimed that no aid was being delivered by the government in the north, while 2,500 to 4,000 displaced people were estimated to have come to Agadez from the mostly Tuareg town of Iferouane,[67] with the entire civilian population apparently fleeing after the army and rebels started fighting in the area in mid-2007. Humanitarian sources were quoted saying that the army was operating with little control and adding to—rather than suppressing—banditry, drug-trafficking and lawlessness in the north.[68] Anti-terror law In April 2008 the National Assembly of Niger passed a new anti-terror law giving broader powers of detention to the police and military. The law also strengthened penalties on a wide range offenses, including the manufacture or possession of explosive devices, hostage-taking, attacks on transport and unlawful possession of radioactive materials.[69] Mine attacks in south The Nigerien government reported that the MNJ began mine attacks against civilians in the southern towns of Tahoua, Dosso and Maradi, areas previously far from the fighting. The MNJ denied targeting civilians, and made counter claims that government militia had continued indiscriminate attacks on Tuareg communities in the north. Western press sources claimed that the rebels were responsible for laying mines that hit Army vehicles, as well as a spike in mines laid in populated areas.[70] On 9 January 2008, the first violence was reported in Niamey, the capital, some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from the conflict zone. Abdou Mohamed Jeannot, the director of Niger's first independent radio station, Radio R & M (Radio and Music) was killed after driving over a landmine in Yantala, a suburb west of Niamey. Mahamane, who was also the vice president of the national press association, Maison de la Presse, was not reported to have been vocal on the conflict, but his radio station had been banned by the government in 1998, and rebroadcasts western news reports in Niger, where western reporters have been highly restricted by the government and Radio France was accused by the government (July 2007) of siding with the rebels. The neighborhood is also reported to house many Army officers (which might conceivably have made it a target for the rebels), and another mine was found some 200m from the blast site. The government blamed the MNJ. The government's press chief Ben Omar Mohammed called on the population to set up "vigilance brigades" to fight against "these new types of assassins". The MNJ denied the attack, and said it blamed "Niger army militias".[71][72][73][74][75] Continued clashes A 9 December clash in the Tiguidit escarpment area (south of In-Gall and east of Agadez) was reported by both sides as resulting in civilian casualties. The government reported that army forces fired on civilian vehicles who wandered into fighting with MNJ units who had been ambushed laying mines. The MNJ countered that government militias attacked a civilian convoy, killing a number of civilians, including two Libyan foreign workers.[76][77] On 21 January, both sides reported an attack by the MNJ on the town of Tanout, 150 km north of Zinder, in which seven were killed and 11 kidnapped. The rebels claimed they had captured several high-ranking officers of the FNIS (Nigerien Internal Security Forces - paramilitary police) and the Prefect of Tanout.[78] Ethnic expansion At the beginning of January, MNJ rebels claimed they had been joined by ethnic Toubou rebel leaders and several Hausa army officers. While there was no independent confirmation of this, the Toubou Forces armées révolutionnaires du Sahara (FARS) had risen against the government in the 1990s (see Tuareg Rebellion) in the far southeast of Niger. The MNJ claimed the former FARS commander Bocar Mohamed Sougouma, (alias Warabé) had ordered former rebels to rally to the MNJ-controlled Tamgak Plateau near Iferaouane.[79] By December 2007, fighting had begun to spiral out of control, ending the nascent tourist industry in the Aïr Mountains, and destabilising areas of Niger not directly involved in the insurgency of the 1990s. Niger: international support Despite the series of escalating attacks, the government of Niger offered a number of concessions to foreign (especially French) interests in January 2008. Two French journalists, arrested on charges of espionage and aiding the rebels on 17 December, were formally charged with threatening state security and released on bail 18 January, to face trial later.[80] French press reports that Gabonese President Omar Bongo Ondimba intervened with President Mamadou Tandja on their behalf. It was also reported that President Bouteflika of Algeria had been in offering security guarantees to Niger.[81] At the same time, the government of Niger renewed Uranium contracts with the French government controlled Areva, obtaining a 50% increase in payments to the Nigerien state. This comes at a

time when security concerns have made the diminishing mines at Arlit impossible to operate, and construction of their new mine near Ingal - scheduled to be complete in 2010 yet still not begun - extremely unlikely.[82] Niger: February - June 2008 Beginning in February and March 2008, mine attacks in the south ended, major rebel incursions out of Aïr and the desert regions subsided, and the Nigerien military went on the offensive, retaking a major rebel position in the far northwest. The rebels launched a daring raid into the Areva facilities in Arlit, seizing four French hostages. International human rights groups condemned the move, and the four were released to the Red Cross. While the Nigerien Armed Forces have staged attacks in the Aïr, there appeared to be a stalemate. Niger offensive of mid-2008 and renewed stalemate Nigerien rebels have reported air attacks on their bases in the mountains, but major fighting calmed. Areva kidnappings On 22 June, the MNJ launched a raid on the outskirts of Arlit, capturing five people, including four European employees of the Areva uranium mining company. They were released to the Red Cross in Agadez on the 25th.[83][84][85] Army retakes Tezirzaït Also in late June, the military of Niger launched a major offensive at Tezirzaït to the north of the Tamgak plateau. There, at a desert army outpost which had been seized by the rebels in June 2007,[86] a combined ground and air operation retook these positions and killed a number of MNJ fighters, including Rebel Vice President Acharif Ag Mohamed El Moctar. The MNJ claimed the fighting had produced heavy losses on the government side as well, saying that 26 soldiers had been killed, along with several vehicles, including a MIG helicopter, had been destroyed.[87][88] Stalemate As Niger edged towards the 2008 rainy season, the MNJ rebels discounted reports that they had begun a ceasefire, but fighting was sporadic, occurring around the rebel strongholds of the Tamgak Plateau near Iferaouane. The Nigerien government and the MNJ issued dramatically different accounts, but neither side described fighting as either decisive, particularly long lasting, or outside the Aïr plateau. State of emergency continues On 20 August, the government of Niger renewed its state of emergency in the Agadez Region, in place for more than a year, which places great limits on public gatherings, press and personal speech, movement, while giving broad powers of detention and seizure to the government.[89] Reports of ceasefire discounted On 19 August 2008, it was announced by the Nigerien television broadcast someone they claimed to be rebel leader Aghaly ag Alambo, announcing that the Tuareg would lay down arms in both Mali and Niger following a peace brokered by Libya.[90] The MNJ later discounted this as a hoax. This was likely a film of Malian rebel leader Ibrahim Ag Bahanga discussing the April peace talks with the Malian government in Libya, hence the reference to Malian leadership and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The current peace deal in the Malian conflict took place in July under the auspices of Libya's regional rival Algeria. Aghaly ag Alambo released a statement saying that although they were willing to engage in peace negotiations, they would not lay down their arms unilaterally, and the Malian and Nigerien rebels cannot speak for one another.[91] Sougouma surrender In late August, the Nigerien government reported that a faction of the MNJ led by Toubou rebel commander from the 1990s Bocar Mohamed Sougouma had surrendered near Gouré (Zinder Region). In the process, they report, an accidental explosion of landmines which were being handed into the government killed one and wounded two, including Zinder Region Governor Yahaya Yandaka. The MNJ claimed that Bocar Mohamed Sougouma, (alias Warabé) had joined the rebellion with a group of former Toubou rebels in January 2008, but that the MNJ had suspected him of being a government agent, and banished him in June 2008 from their bases on the Tamgak Plateau near Iferaouane. The MNJ denied from the beginning of 2008 the use of landmines, while the government charged the rebels with widespread attacks on civilians by indiscriminate use of landmines as far south as Niamey.[92][93] November fighting The heaviest fighting reported through the end of the year occurred in November. The MNJ claimed that they repulsed a concerted attempt by the FAN to establish a base near the town of Elmiki between 12 and 16 November.[94] The rebels claimed to have killed 8 and wounded at least two dozen Nigerien soldiers, destroyed vehicles, and driven the FAN out of the area. The MNJ further claimed that the Nigerien government had arrested six civilians and destroyed civilian property in the mainly Tuareg village of Elmiki, which they called an attempt at ethnic cleansing.[95] The MNJ further claimed seven men from the village had been arrested on 19 October and later found dead.[96] They claimed in early December that the state of emergency in the north was used by the government to cover up attacks on civilians and clashes between MNJ and army troops.[97] The Nigerien government denied that any fighting or any attacks on civilians took place in Elmeki. The government did, however, confirm that an MNJ raid on a convoy between Elmiki and Dabaga killed four soldiers, and that a landmine attack in the desert between Agadez and Bilma occurred later; both incidents were blamed on continued activity of so-called criminal gangs involved in smuggling and intimidation.[98][99] The MNJ, for their part, claimed at least two more attacks on army convoys during the month of November.[100] 2009: Nigerien uranium industry unhindered Despite the violence in the Aïr Massif, Areva NC and the Nigerien government were, by late 2008, unhindered in their exploitation of the Arlit uranium mines and in the transport of uranium by highway to ports in Benin. At the beginning of 2009, Niger and the French state mining company agreed on a deal to build the Imouraren mine near Arlit. At a projected output of five thousand tonnes of ore a year, it would be largest uranium mine in the world by 2012, as the SOMAIR and COMINAK mines were to be phased out. The deal would make Niger the second largest uranium producer in the world, and included plans to construct a civil nuclear power station for Niger.[101][102] While Areva officials earlier in the year admitted that the security situation made it impossible to prospect at night, and that the fighting had frightened off prospecting for new sites,[103] the operations of

the mines were, by December, unaffected by the Tuareg rebellion.[104][105] Despite the awarding of nearly 100 prospecting contracts to firms other than Areva in 2007, the high profile Chinese and Canadian projects were not yet formalised as of 2009.[106] Rhissa Ag Boula and the FFR splinter In January 2008, Rhissa Ag Boula, the most prominent of the remaining leaders of the 1990s rebellion, reappeared in the press. In France, he was interviewed by le Nouvel Observateur as a spokesperson for the MNJ, stating that a "Battle of Uranium" was soon to be launched by the rebels against the Arlitbased French mining company Areva. The MNJ did not publish or respond to Ag Boula's statement, and he had not previously spoken for the group. No attack on the Areva installations was immediately forthcoming, and observers noted that while attacks took place in early 2007 and in June 2008, the MNJ had largely refrained from attacking both of the mining operations, as well as the economically critical transport of Uranium ore over the highways.[107] Ag Boula had been one of two prominent Rebel leaders (along with Mano Dayak) brought into the Nigerien government after the end of the 1990s rebellion. In the 1990s, he had coordinated a dozen rebel factions in the FLAA (Front de Libération de l'Azawak et de l'Aïr) and then signed the peace deal with the Niamey authorities on their behalf. Afterwards, he headed his own political party, the UDPS (Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social) Ag Boula was appointed in December 1997 as Minister of Tourism and Artisnal Affairs until he was charged with ordering the death of a political rival in 2004, a charge he claimed was a political fabrication. Released after 13 months in prison without charge, Ag Boula largely disappeared from public life, but remained one of the most well-known Tuareg figures in Niger. After his public support for the MNJ came out, it was speculated by African journalists that Ag Boula represented a faction close to the Libyan government.[108] On 30 May, Ag Boula released a statement which claimed that a faction of MNJ fighters had broken from the movement. This group, the (Front des Forces de redressement) created an official website, but fewer than half a dozen press releases were released over the next six months, and no attacks or operations by this new group were reported. The aging Mohamed Awtchiki Kriska, a former spokesperson for the 1990s CRA (Coordination de la résistance armée) rebel front, was announced as the president of the new group, and Ag Boula was named as "Commissioner of War". Kriska had only joined the MNJ in November 2007. One writer on Tuareg affairs speculated that the group, because of the familial ties of its leaders, might have close relationships with Libyan Tuaregs.[107] One journalist speculated that Ag Boula's faction might be in Libya of along the Malian border, postulating a close relationship with Ibrahim Ag Bahanga's faction of the Malian rebels, who, after walking out on peace talks with the Malian government, relocated to Libya.[109] The MNJ did not publicly comment on the creation of this faction, but they did announce the removal of two members of its European support network, Chehna Ag Hamate and Kaocen Seydou Maïga.[110] Other former rebel leaders from the 1990s condemned Ag Boula's statements.[111] In April 2008, The government of Niger requested that Ag Boula be extradited by the French government; however, by this time, he was no longer in France. The Nigerien courts convicted him of planning the murder of a ruling party activist, for which he had been arrested in 2004, but released without charge in 2005. His supporters believed at the time that the 2004 arrest was planned to induce a rebellion among Ag Boula's supporters. Ag Boula's brother subsequently led a 2005 raid on a Nigerien military patrol which killed ten.[107] The conviction took place in absentia in a trial on 12–13 July 2008. Ag Boula released a statement condemning the verdict, but disappeared from press reports soon thereafter. Reporters at the time speculated he was either in Europe or Libya.[109] On Sunday 14 December 2008, a Canadian UN official was kidnapped while traveling on a highway just 40 km north of Niamey, well away from any previous rebel attacks. The MNJ denied involvement, but a statement attributed to Ag Boula took responsibility for the kidnapping in the name of the FFR. Mohamed Awtchiki Kriska, on the other hand, denied that the FFR was responsible.[112] Previous kidnappings acknowledged by the MNJ in the conflict—those of a Chinese mining executive in 2007, a Nigerien parliamentarian and Red Cross head, a Nigerien Prefect, and four Areva officials, all in 2008—were all quickly resolved.[113] Impact on Nigerien press freedom Main article: Human Rights in Niger A consequence of the conflict in Niger was a series of arrests of domestic journalists, and expulsions or closings of foreign press and aid groups. The state of emergency in the Agadez Region, re-authorised every six months since November 2007, has barred foreign press or aid from the area. In mid-2008, the French charity Doctors without borders (MSF) was forced to close a childhood malnutrition treatment program in Maradi Region which had been operating since 2005. MSF was subsequently ejected from the country by the Nigerien government. The rebroadcasting of foreign radio broadcasts in Niger has been interupped several times since mid-2007 by government order. Nigerien journalists say they are often pressured by local authorities. The north, under a state of emergency, has become off-limits to both domestic and foreign press, and the independent Radio Agadez in the north has been closed by the government.[114] Since mid-2007, there have been a number of arrests of foreign and local journalists. Two local journalists were imprisoned in 2007 under charge of aiding the Tuareg insurgency in the north, and several radio stations have been closed. The journalist Moussa Kaka was held over a year on charges stemming from a radio interview of Rebel leaders, before being provisionally released. Kaka has been at the center of a campaign in France and elsewhere demanding his freedom, spearheaded by Radio France International and its CEO Alain de Pouzilhac, Reporters Without Borders (both organisations for which Kaka is Niger Correspondent)[115] and Amnesty International,[116] as well as Nigerien press groups including The Nigerien National Union of Press Workers (SYNATIC) and Le Republicain newspaper.[117] Despite his release, several journalists remain jailed for alleged contact with the rebels, and at least three radio stations (Nigeriens main source of news) have been closed by the authorities.[118] While Kaka received the longest imprisonment for a journalist since the beginning of the rebellion, several other cases have come to the attention of the international media. French journalists Thomas Dandois and Pierre Creisson were detained in Agadez for a month in 2007 by Nigerien military forces before being released.[119]

The editor of Niamey's L'Evénement weekly was arrested on 30 July 2008 and charged with "divulging a defence secret" after reporting that an army officer had been linked to an arms cache that was discovered in the capital.[120] The government press regulation body, the High Council for Communication (CSC), closed Niamey-based TV and radio station Dounia TV for one month in August 2008, and closed Sahara FM, the main radio station in Agadez, for an indefinite period on 22 April 2008 for broadcasting interviews with people who had claimed they were the victims of abuses by government troops.[121] In June 2007, Agadez weekly Aïr-Info was closed by the government for three months, while at the same time sending formal warnings to three other newspapers (Libération, L'Opinion and L'Evènement) for reporting on the conflict in the north, which the government said were "trying to justify criminal activity and violence". Aïr-Info editor Ibrahim Manzo Diallo, after attempting to open a new weekly paper, was arrested and released. One of his reporters was also arrested in Ingal in October,[122] and Diallo was again arrested in October while trying to board a flight to Europe aon charges of "membership of a criminal gang".[118][123] Diallo was released pending trial in February 2008.[124] Mali December 2008: Ag Bahanga's return Sometime before the beginning of December 2008, Ibrahim Ag Bahanga returned from his self-imposed exile in Libya. Ag Bahanga is the former leader of the 23 Mai (l'Alliance Démocratique du 23 mai pour le Changement—ADC) group and current leader of the last remaining faction of the group which had not signed the Algerian brokered peace agreement: The Alliance Touaregue Nord Mali Pour Le Changement (ATNMC)[125] This faction took credit in communiqués for a series of attacks in northern Mali beginning on 18 December. Nampala attack On 20 December, rebels attacked a desert garrison post at Nampala 500 km north of Bamako near the Mauritanian border. Between 11 and 20 Malian Armed Forces soldiers were killed along with an unknown number of rebels in the bloodiest fighting since June 2007. The attack was prefaced by a the killing of an aide to a pro-government Tuareg leader in Gao in a grenade attack on the politician's home on 18 December.[6] The ATNMC released communiqués claiming that their patrols had destroyed two Army vehicles far south into the populated regions of Mali, on the Kati–Diéma–Nioro road and the Ségou to Tombouctou road on 24 and 25 December. There was no government confirmation of these attacks.[126][127] The attack on Nampala pushed the fighting far to the south. The President of Mali, Amadou Toumani Touré, vowed harsh action in a speech at Kayes: "Enough is enough. We cannot continue to suffer, we cannot keep counting our dead... We cannot keep searching for peace... They are firing on anything that moves. They are firing on soldiers, they're firing on civilians, what does all this mean?" He claimed that while Nampala had no strategic importance, it was "close to the different routes and paths that take drugs across the Sahara-Sahel strip". This was a reiteration of the government contention that elements of the rebels were motivated not by political motives, but by their supposed involvement in the lucrative Saharan smuggling trade.[128] In this same period, a group of foreign tourists were seized in southeastern Mali by unknown captors. Ag Bahanga denied any involvement. He had previously claimed Islamist GSPC militants were active "north of Timbuktu", and that his forces were "in a state of war" with the GSPC. Some Malian sources initially blamed the kidnapping on Ag Bahanga's forces.[129] Mali 2009: offensive and peace deal Army assault in north The Malian army quickly responded in January 2009 with an attack on a rebel camp just west of Aguelhoc (In the Adrar des Ifoghas, Kidal Region) in which it said it killed 20 fighters and took 8 prisoners, one of whom later died.[130] El Khabar of Algeria reported that the initial assaults by the Malian Army in January were led by former ADC fighters and commanded by a former associate of Ag Bahanga's Colonel Mohamed Oueld Midou.[131][132] Other Malian press reports claimed that the Malian forces were led by Arab militias recruited by the government. One editorial in Le Republican (Bamako) argued that this, along with the growing resurgence of former Ghanda Koy militia activities in Gao risked adding a greater ethnic dimension to the conflict.[133] On 22 January, the Malian armed forces claimed to have destroyed Ag Bahanga's main base at Tinsalak (near Tigharghar and to the east of Tessalit), killing 31 and capturing 8.[134] The attack, unlike the previous assault, was reported to have been carried out by regular units of the armed forces.[135][136] Special forces units of the Malian military (Echelon tactique inter-arme ETIA) were led by Kidal Region military commander, Colonel El Hadji Gamou, but also drafting in Col Sidi Ahmed Kounta, commanding the ETIA Léré, Commandant Barek from ETIA Gao and Colonel Takini head of the ETIA Kidal coordinated a series of attacks on suspected rebel positions in Kidal Region through 5 February.[137] Facing these setbacks, the ATNM made a series of concessions to the government. On 25 January they released the final three Malian soldiers they had held, and requested the government release seven ATNM fighters.[138] On 2 February, Amed Ag Oussouf – reputedly Ibrahim Ag Bahanga's lieutneant—called on the government to accept Algerian mediation and an immediate cease fire. The group had previously rejected an Algerian peace deal accepted by the remainder of the ADC, and on 25 January, Ag Bahanga had told an Algerian paper that their only alternative was armed conflict.[139] The Malian Armed Forces stated on that same day that they would not engage in talks with Ag Bahanga's fighters, describing them as "bandits". Malian forces set up a forward base in the Kidal Region and say they have killed 31 ATNM fighters since 22 January.[140] On 6 February, the Malian Armed Forces claimed they had taken the last of the ATNMC positions, while Ag Bahanga and an unknown number of fighters had crossed the border into Algeria.[141] Malian faction split January 2009 also appeared to also have marked the final break between Ag Bahanga's faction and the remainder of the ADC. According to the 2006 and 2008 Algiers Accords, the ADC elements on cease fire were headquartered in Kidal, both the political leadership, and the former fighters integrated in the their own units of the Malian Armed forces. Outside observers noted the weakness of Bahanga's position, with his surprise return to fighting in December resulting in political isolation from both the ADC and foreign mediators, military defeat at the hands of the

army, and a string of defections which left his forces even weaker.[142] In Mid January, the former Ag Bahanga faction military commander, Lt. Col. Hassane Fagaga, returned to ceasefire and cantonment near Kidal. According to the Malian military, Fagaga came into cantonment with 400 ADC fighters.[143] On 26 January, Fagaga and the remained of the cease-fire ADC announced that they would transfer their headquarters and bases south of Kidal.[144] With all other ADC forces remaining on ceasefire, it was unclear how many fighters chose to remain with Ag Bahanga and his ATNMC faction, especially as the faction itself claimed in late 2007 to have no more than 165 men under arms.[2] On 6 February, the Malian Armed Forces claimed they had taken the last of the ATNMC positions, while Ag Bahanga and an unknown number of fighters had crossed the border into Algeria.[141] Rebels dispose arms On 5 February, the Malian Armed forces concluded negotiations for 180 of the ADC fighters, all former Malian Armed Forces deserters, to re-enter the cantonment area at Camp Kidal. These fighters maintained control of their arms. The government, rebels and Algerian interlocutors held off on a final agreement that would bring the remaining 220 or more rebels into cantonment. The tripartite Groupe Technique de Sécurité, set up under the 2008 accord, would negotiate the movement of rebel forces into disarmament, possible reintegration into security services, and final cantonment at a base near Agharous, 50 km south of Kidal.[145][146] Former ADC fighters continued to move in cantonment areas, be processed by the military, and dispose their arms in stages through early June 2009. Niger: 2009 peace talks Malian model Movement towards peace in Niger, which seemed unlikely at the beginning of 2009, progressed rapidly following the Malian peace deal. The taking of hostages by the AQIM in Niger, especially Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler, brought intense international interest in the security situation in Niger. Beginning in February 2009, there was intensive involvement with the Nigerien government and the rebel groups by the UN, Canada, and later by Algeria and Mali, and finally Libya. Canadian and other sources floated rumors of Tuareg rebel and even Nigerien government involvement in the kidnappings, which all sides united to deny. Malian and Algerian government mediators, as well as informal groups representing Tuareg interests and the Nigerien government met at a Malian organised conference in Niamey on 25 and 26 February.[147] Press in Bamako and Niamey began to talk of the "Malian Approach" to peace.[148] MNJ split On 2 March, as series of dramatic events occurred on the side of the Nigerien rebels. A group of most of the named MNJ leadership and their European based supporters announced they had broken from the MNJ.[149] The Front Patriotique Nigérien (FPN, Nigerien Patriotic Front) announced that MNJ leader Aghali Alambo had fled from the MNJ encampment with all but one of the remaining FAN prisoners. The remainder of the MNJ leadership announced that they were forming the FPN, and announced in their first statement their desire for direct peace talks with the government and a ceasefire. The FPN announced leadership consisted of much of the MNJ, with former Agadez NGO head and rebel Aklou Sidi Sidi as president, former Nigerien military officer and MNJ military commander Kindo Zada announcing his support from a previously unannounced exile in Djamena, and former MNJ spokesman Boutali Tchiwerin as the spokesman of the new organisation. The 2008 MNJ splinter, the FPR (Front of Forces for Rectification) headed by Rhissa Ag Boula and Mohamed Aoutchiki Kriska, later announced they would join with the new FPN peace initiative. Agli Alambo for his part announced from Libya that the MNJ were seeking immediate peace talks under Libyan auspices, and would repatriate their prisoners to Niamey. Muammar al-Gaddafi accompanied six former prisoners to Niamey, where they were repatriated to the Nigerien government on 13 March. On 15 March Gaddafi called on all rebel groups in Niger to lay down arms, and pledged his help to prevent smuggling and lawlessness in the area.[150][151] On 26 March, the FPN announced it would accept Libyan mediation with the Nigerien government, in order to seek a "lasting peace".[152] Peace talks On 3 April, a Nigerien delegation headed by the Nigerien Minister of the Interior Albadé Abouba arrived in Tripoli to begin joint meetings with the FPN and MNJ at Sirte.[153] In a statement after the meetings, the FPN congratulated "His excellency Tanja Mamadou" for sending "a strong signal in the direction af a return to peace" [154] On 15 April, the Nigerien government released a positive statement, saying that negotiations gave the government a chance to assure the rebels of their desire for peace. Meetings were headed by the Libyan mediators, Albadé Abouba for Niger, Aghali Alambo for the MNJ, Mohamed Aoutchiki Kriska (FFR), and Aklou Sidi Sidi, president of the FPN.[155] The FPN leadership continued to release positive statements, but they, like the Nigerien government, accused the remaining MNJ leadership of dragging their feet over the remaining FAN prisoner, an army officer captured in 2007 and accused by the rebels of war crimes.[156] Civilian opening In Agadez Region, several events signaled a return to peace. On 28 April the United Nations World Food Programme announced it would begin aiding the repatriation of 20,000 people internally displaced since 2007. The towns of Iférouane, Gougaram, Danet, Dabaga and Tchirozérine would receive food and resettlement centres to ease the transition.[157] Despite this, the government in Niamey announced on 23 May that it had renewed the "state of emergency" in the entire Agadez Region for another three months, allowing preventive detention and banning public gatherings.[158] May meetings On 3 May President Tandja made his first visit to Agadez in over two years. He joined the Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon and French Minister of Overseas Cooperation Alain Joyandet in placing the first stone in the new Imouraren mine. Imouraren, scheduled to open in 2012, will replace Areva's current Arlit Uranium mine, and as planned will be the largest Uranium mine in the world.[159] Tandja drove through the streets of Agadez, met with local leaders, and for the first time, met with representatives of the rebel groups. The President broadcast as statement saying "We have asked them to put down their weapons and come build the country with us. We forgive them because we want peace in Niger", promising for the first time amnesty for rebels who disarmed.[160] Prior to the meeting, the MNJ

released the last FAN prisoner it had held, an Army captain taken in July 2007, whom rebels had previously accused of killing civilians.[161] Rebels and government continued negotiations, now reportedly on the practical process of turning in weapons. While all sides released positive statements, an FFR spokesman warned "The process of turning in weapons will be a rather long one."[162] The MNJ briefly announced it would not agree to any disarmament until several of its political demands had been met, but later backed away from this statement.[163][164] Four party talks between the Nigerien minister of the Interior and the leadership of the Niger Movement for Justice (MNJ) Front of Forces for Rectification (FFR) and Niger Patriotic Front (FPN) continued through May and into June, hosted by Libya. Disposing of arms On 15 June 2009, the Nigerien government announced a plan for cantonment and disarming agreed in Libya with the coalition of FFR and FPN groups (called the Front of National Liberation or FLN) had begun, with the first of 1200 expected FLN fighters arriving at a cantonment center 45 km outside Agadez. Their announced plan was to gather fighters there, and begin turning in arms within two weeks.[165] In a 4 June 2009 interview, the President of the FPN said that their group had 2403 men under arms. FFR had not announced the number of their forces, and it is unknown what the MNJ force strength was after the FPN splintered from them.[166] Al-Qaeda of the Maghreb The larger Tuareg conflicts were brought under increased international attention following the kidnapping in late 2008 in Niger of two Canadian diplomats and four European tourists by groups associated with Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, who held their victims somewhere in northern Mali. Late April 2009 saw the release in northern Mali of the Western hostages taken by the AQIM, including the Canadian diplomat to Niger Robert Fowler.[167] The governments of Niger and Mali, as well as Tuareg rebel groups, had come under unusual international pressure over the taking of these seven hostages under mysterious circumstances, even prior to the acknowledged involvement of the AQIM.[168] The original two abduction incidents (two Canadian diplomats, their driver, and four European tourists seized weeks later) were blamed by Niger on rebels, and by the MNJ on the Niger government. Western news sources quoted a variety of observers who believed the hostages were taken by Tuareg smugglers, perhaps associated with rebel groups, who then sold them to the AQIM.[169] Two of the four European tourists were later released. One of the two remaining, British tourist Edwin Dyer, was killed by his captors in June 2009.[170][171][172] In May 2009 Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure agreed, after talks between Mali's defence minister and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to a military cooperative agreement to secure the Saharan borders where Tuareg rebels, AQIM militants, as well as smugglers and criminal gangs, operated. Discussions with the governments of Niger and Mauritania were proposed. Under the agreement, states would receive arms from Algeria and engage in joint operations against AQIM and other threats.[173] See also • Tuareg people • List of wars 2003-current • Azawagh • Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present) • Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara References 1. ^ See Military of Niger. 12,000 total forces, 4,000 reported deployed to areas of fighting, Dominique Derda. La révolte des hommes bleus. Le Nouvel Observateur. 26 July 2007. 2. ^ a b La nouvelle Alliance Touareg du Niger et du Mali (ATNM). Interview with Hama Ag Sidahmed, 13 October 2007, occitan-touareg (France). 3. ^ a b "Gunmen attack Mali outpost, seize soldiers, weapons". Stuff.co.nz. Reuters. 20 July 2008. http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/540707. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 4. ^ High figure comes from MNJ communiques (as of 1 July 2008). No Niger Government figures have been given. See tuaregcultureandnews summaries of MNJ communiques and the originals at http://m-nj.blogspot.com/. 5. ^ As of 21 January attack, estimation from MNJ Communiques and press, have been barred from reporting in N. Niger. 6. ^ a b Mali: brève "offensive" de l'armée contre des rebelles touareg dans le nord. AFP. 2 January 2009 7. ^ English.aljazeera.net 8. ^ In the period September 2007 - January 2008 press have been barred from reporting in N. Niger. Rebels claim hundreds of civilians have been killed. 9. ^ May Ying Welsh (14 July 2008). "Niger's Nomad Army". Al Jazeera. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxXNlqIbaW4. Retrieved 14 July 2008. 10. ^ May Ying Welsh (15 July 2008). "Desertification threatens Niger's nomads". Al Jazeera. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhrWCGIlku4&feature=relmfu. Retrieved 15 July 2008. 11. ^ May Ying Welsh (16 July 2008). "Niger's natural wealth exploited". Al Jazeera. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icG7O-laum8&feature=relmfu. Retrieved 16 July 2008. 12. ^ Rebels in Niger Threaten More Attacks. Phuong Tran, Voice of America: 21 August 2007. 13. ^ La crise touareg due à "l'échec" des accords de 1995. Agence France-Presse: 25 August 2007. 14. ^ Security and Insecurity in North Africa Jeremy Keenan (2006) Security and Insecurity in North Africa. Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE) No. 108: 280-281

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49.

^ Six éléments des Forces Armées nigériennes rejoignent les rebelles au Nord. APA, 24 May 2007. ^ Next Up: Northern Niger. Alex Harrowell: 6 August 2007. ^ a b Point Afrique cancels tour flights. AFP: 31 August 2007. ^ Niger: New Touareg rebel group speaks out. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN): 17 May 2007. ^ Le MNJ milite pour l'avènement d'un Niger uni dans lequel chaque citoyen trouve tous les jours des raisons d'être fier de son pays Interview with Ahmed Akoli (political secretary of the MNJ), Temoust, 21 December 2007 ^ Ahmed Akoli (MNJ) - Exclusive Temoust Interview English translation, Tuareg Culture and News. 22 December 2007. Quote in full is: (1) The marginalization of Tuareg people must end; the government of Niger must support the diversity of its citizens; decentralization must be accelerated; Tuaregs must be recruited into the military and incorporated into governance so as to achieve ethnic balance; (2) the state's scarce resources must be more evenly allocated so as to permit Tuaregs to establish effective socio-economic infrastructures in Tuareg regions; in particular, revenues from the uranium mining activities in Tuareg regions must be used primarily for economic growth in both Tuareg regions and the rest of Niger; and (3) security in the North should be focused on protection from outside threats; the armed forces in Tuareg regions in the North should be recruited from the Tuareg population, so that it will be viewed by the Tuaregs as an extension of society, and not an army consisting mainly of members of other ethnic clans who serve their own purposes, and who do not identify with the Tuareg people. ^ "Jusqu'où ira la rébellion?" Jeune Afrique 15 July 2007. ^ "Mali: Peut-être la fin d'un conflit larvé de dix mois appelé rébellion touarègue". APA, 14 June 2007. ^ "Pour Bamako, le MNJ et les rebelles du nord ont partie liée". Radio France International, 2 September 2007. ^ Tuareg conflict spreads to Mali. BBC: 28 August 2007. ^ "Confusion chez les anciens rebelles touaregs" Radio France International, 1 September 2007. "La peur de la scission". Radio France International, 3 September 2007. ^ a b Iférouane, prise en étau, se vide de ses habitants. Agence France-Presse: 27 August 2007. ^ "Rebels attack army base in Niger". BBC: 22 June 2007 ^ France and Nuclear Energy and French Involvement in Niger, both from Pederson, Nicholas R. The French Desire for Uranium and its Effects on French Foreign Policy in Africa. Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security: Occasional Papers. PED:1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2000) ^ Niger looking to China to break French control of uranium mining sector. Abdoulaye Massalatchi, Reuters: 1 August 2007. ^ Nuclear executive kidnapped in Niger. Xinhua: 7 July 2007. ^ France sees Areva progress, offers Niger mine aid. Abdoulaye Massalatchi, Reuters: 4 August 2007. ^ Cher uranium. Le Monde: 4 August 2007. (English Translation) ^ Les Nigériens apprécient diversement l'état de mise en demeure décrété à Agadez par Tandja. APA-Niamey: 25 August 2007. ^ The Niger Movement for Justice (Mouvement des Nigériens pour la justice, MNJ) Press site ^ Niger seeks help from Sudan, Libya against rebels. Abdoulaye Massalatchi, Reuters: 25 August 2007. ^ Niger Gov't Tries to Contain Rebel News, HEIDI VOGT Associated Press, 25 July 2007. ^ NIGER: Dozens arrested in north as critics targeted. IRIN 18 September 2007. ^ In Niger, government bans live broadcasts on Tuareg rebellion. Committee to Protect Journalists. http://www.cpj.org, 30 August 2007. ^ NIGER: Government cracks down on coverage of rebel attacks. Committee to Protect Journalists. http://www.cpj.org, 13 July 2007. ^ NIGER: Five killed as army clashes with Tuaregs in desert north. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN): 7 October 2004. ^ American Forces Train Nigerien Troops: American Forces Press Service, 10 March 2006. ^ EUCOM-based troops training Mali, Mauritania militaries for border patrols. Jon R. Anderson, Stars and Stripes European edition, Wednesday, 17 March 2004. ^ U.S. Special Ops troops preparing to train foreign soldiers in Africa. Charlie Coon, Stars and Stripes European edition, Sunday, 15 May 2005. ^ Some of a number of US Military articles detailing such continued training. See: Pan Sahel Initiative (20022004) and Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative (2005-). ^ Fake Terror and Instability in North Africa. Sam Urquhart, Dissident Voice: 5 July 2007. ^ For background on the US involvement in the 2004 Algeria-based Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat pursuit see: Pursuing Terrorists in the Great Desert. The U.S. Military's $500 Million Gamble to Prevent the Next Afghanistan, by Raffi Khatchadourian, Village Voice, 31 January 2006. ^ Les dessous d’une attaque. Jeune Afrique, Cherif Ouazani: 20 May 2007. ^ Michel Vallet, "Chronologie de la vie au Sahara". In, Le Saharien, 3rd trimester 2006. ^ Suspected Tuareg rebels ambush Mali military convoy. Reuters: 28 August 2007.

50. ^ Mali: Indignation dominates reaction as attacks in north escalate. IRIN: 31 August 2007. 51. ^ Mali Tuaregs deny alliance with Niger rebels. IOL.co.za, 26 August 2007. Mali rebels renege on peace accord. Serge Daniel, AFP, 28 August 2007 Bahanga prêt à arrêter ses attaques? Yaya SIDIBE. L’Indépendant (Mali), 3 September 2007. 52. ^ [1], Tuareg rebels in Mali besiege northern garrison 14 September 2007 16:36:05 GMT Source: Reuters, Mali's tuareg rebels attack northern border town, Friday, September 14, 2007, AFP Wire 53. ^ Mali boosts army to fight Tuareg. BBC, 17 September 2007. Situation au Nord: Bahanga viole sa trêve et donne l’occasion à l’armée de le mater. Inter De Bamako, 17 September 2007. 54. ^ Floods in Africa kill dozens and wipe out crops 14 September 2007 16:55:08 GMT Source: Reuters. 55. ^ WEST Africa: Floods prompt greater focus on risk reduction, 3 September 2007 (IRIN).In Mali, one of the hardest hit countries where the government estimates 30,000 people have been affected, no flood contingency plans were in place. 56. ^ Mali: After the deluge the real struggle begins, 1 October 2007 (IRIN). "The Malian Red Cross estimates that 21,000 people were affected by floods in Mali this year, stretching from small communities around Gao in the desert areas in the north, to the far west region of Kayes, one of the poorest and most isolated regions of Mali. While the overall number is relatively small compared to the 1.5 million people aid agencies say were affected by floods across the continent, Mali lies on a West African fault-line of natural disasters that makes it more likely than not that almost every community will be hit by one if not more natural disasters or epidemics every year." 57. ^ SAHEL: Foundation money to allow long-term approach to water problem, 25 October 2007 (IRIN). The Global Water Initiative (GWI), a partnership of seven charities and relief organisations which will be given US$15 million a year for 10 years. 58. ^ Erratic end of season rains may affect some crops, 10 December 2007 FEWS NET Monthly Report for Mali beginning the period October 2007. Shows ONLY areas of fighting in the far northeast as "Highly Food Insecure". "Tuareg rebels attack Mali convoy". BBC News. 22 March 2008. 59. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7310115.stm. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 60. ^ Mali, Algeria plan joint patrols on Saharan border. 15 July 2008 Reuters, Tiemoko Diallo. 61. ^ a b Gunmen attack Mali outpost, seize soldiers, weapons 19 July 2008 Reuters 62. ^ Mali: Western diplomats warn about “deterioration” in north, 11 September 2007 (IRIN). 63. ^ Le gouvernement et les rebelles d'accord pour cesser les hostilités 21 juillet 2008 - AFP 64. ^ Les Maliens parlent aux Maliens », Jeune Afrique, 20 juillet 2008. 65. ^ Otages enlevés au nord-est de Kidal: Tous libres ! L'Essor, 19 August 2008 66. ^ Situation au Nord-Mali: Comment Bahanga a rompu avec l'Algérie et épousé la Libye, Abdrahamane Keïta Aurore (Mali), 26 August 2008 67. ^ These numbers were also reported by the Nigerien NGO l'Association NORD NIGER SANTE on 17 November 2007. 68. ^ NIGER: Humanitarian access cut to north, 10 December 2007 (IRIN). NIGER: News filtering out of north suggests grave conditions, 10 December 2007 (IRIN). 69. ^ Niger adopts anti-terror law. Abdoulaye Massalatchi, Reuters. 20 April 2008 70. ^ Abdoulaye Massalatchi (Reuters) Niger rebels kill 3 soldiers in attack on convoy. 5 December 2007. 71. ^ The MNJ press releases [2] have used the French term "milice" as a derogatory term for the Niger Army. While it literally means "militia", it retains strong negative connotations as the name of the pro-German auxiliary police of the Vichy regime. 72. ^ For the 9 January 2008 attack, see: Naomi Schwarz. Nigeriens Search for Landmines in Capital After Explosion Kills One. Voice of America, 9 January 2008. 73. ^ Niger reporter killed by landmine, BBC, 9 January 2008. 74. ^ CPJ mourns the loss of Niger radio director. Committee to Protect Journalists 9 January 2008. 75. ^ Reuters - Abdoulaye Massalatchi Niger blames desert rebels for mine death in capital, 9 January 2008. 76. ^ Niger army says killed 7 Tuareg civilians by mistake, 10 December 2007 (Reuters). 77. ^ Le massacre continue: Black or White II, MNJ Statement, 10 December 2007, claiming "5 Nigerien and 2 Libyans civilians were summarily executed by the army". 78. ^ NIGER: Rebels raid town in south east. IRIN, 22 January 2008. MNJ Communique: Attaque de la ville de Tanout. 21 January 2008. Trois morts et cinq personnes enlevées lors d'une attaque de bandits armés à Tanout Niger. XINHUA News Agency, China: 22 January 2008 79. ^ Après les Touaregs, les Toubous. Jeune Afrique, 6 January 2008. 80. ^ Jurist, 17 January. 81. ^ Juene Afrique, 6 January, Juene Afrique, 11 November 2007, Juene Afrique, 19 January. 82. ^ La présidente d'Areva a parlé des reporters français avec le président Tandja. AFP, 17 January 2008. 83. ^ Niger: Four French citizens released under ICRC auspices. ICRC. 26 June 2008. 84. ^ Niger: Four expatriated AREVA employees kidnapped by MNJ members. AREVA press office. 22 June 2008

85. ^ Niger Tuareg rebels kidnap 4 Areva uranium workers. Abdoulaye Massalatchi, Reuters. 22 June 2008 86. ^ Niger rebels kill 15 soldiers in desert raid. Abdoulaye Massalatchi, Reuters. 22 June 2007 87. ^ "Niger army kills 17 rebels". Television New Zealand. Reuters. 28 June 2008. http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411366/1878410. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 88. ^ Niger says a rebel leader killed in army operation. Abdoulaye Massalatchi, Reuters. 28 June 2008 89. ^ La mise en garde reconduite pour trois mois dans la région d'Agadez. Le Sahel, 21 August 2008 90. ^ "Niger rebels deny ceasefire claim". BBC News. 19 August 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7569408.stm. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 91. ^ Niger Tuareg rebel rejects talk of ceasefire, Abdoulaye Massalatchi (Reuters), 19 August 2008. 92. ^ One killed, two hurt by mine at Niger arms handover, Abdoulaye Massalatchi, Reuters. 24 August 2008. 93. ^ Gouré : mort et désolation suite à une mesquinerie. MNJ Official communique, 25 August 2008. 94. ^ MNJ Comunique November 2008. 95. ^ MNJ Comunique 9 November 2008. 96. ^ MNJ Comunique 9 November 2008. 97. ^ MNJ Comunique 11 December 2008. 98. ^ Niger government denies Tuareg rebel clashes. AFP. 18 November 2008 99. ^ MNJ Comunique 19 November 2008 100. ^ MNJ Comunique 17 November 2008. 101. ^ Uranium-rich Niger eyes nuclear power generation. Reuters. Fri 9 January 2009 102. ^ La course à l'uranium reprend dans le monde.LE MONDE 10 January 2009 103. ^ Niger insecurity hits uranium prospecting -minister. Reuters, Abdoulaye Massalatchi. Friday 30 January 2009. 104. ^ Areva Will Post Loss From Niger Uranium This Year. Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Bloomberg News. 25 March 2008. 105. ^ AREVA in Niger. Areva press release (January 2009) 106. ^ Areva feels uranium mining heat in Niger. Rob Foulkes and Daniel Litvin: Critical Resource. mineweb.com 19 September 2008 107. ^ a b c Jeremy Keenan. Uranium Goes Critical in Niger: Tuareg Rebellions Threaten Sahelian Conflagration. Review of African Political Economy, No. 117:449-466. 108. ^ Regards croisés sur la question touarègue au Niger. Stéphanie Plasse, Afrik. 5 April 2008. 109. ^ a b Condamnation de Rhissa Ag Boula: Les "hommes bleus" voient rouge. Zowenmanogo Dieudonné Zoungrana. L’Observateur (Burkina Faso). 17 July 2008 110. ^ Scission au sein du mouvement rebelle touareg MNJ. AFP. 31 May 2008. 111. ^ Journo remains behind bars in Niger. AFP. 12 February 2008. 112. ^ Confusion over missing envoy. TONDA MACCHARLES, JOANNA SMITH, the Toronto Star. 16 December 2008. 113. ^ Mali, Niger armies hit back against Tuareg rebels. Tiemoko Diallo, Reuters. 23 May 2008 114. ^ Niger: Press harassment hinders development, watchdogs warn, 15 January 2008 (IRIN) 115. ^ Niger: la libération de Moussa Kaka très incertaine, France Info - 23 juin 2008 116. ^ Niger: Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Moussa Kaka, AFR 43/002/2007 (Public), Bulletin n° 184, 26 September 2007 117. ^ AFFAIRE MOUSSA KAKA/ MAÎTRE COULIBALY MOUSSA FACE À LA PRESSE. Grémah, Ben Omar et Yandaka bientôt devant les tribunaux, 9 April 2008 118. ^ a b One-month ban on RFI broadcasts fuels concern about rapid decline in press freedom, 20 July 2007. 119. ^ Detained journalist's wife gives news conference in Paris, asks French government to help get him freed 20 May 2008 120. ^ Newspaper editor freed after being held for 48 hours, 1 August 2008 121. ^ Radio and TV broadcaster Dounia suspended for one month without explanation, 20 August 2008 122. ^ Aïr Info correspondent freed after six days in police custody, 2 November 2007. 123. ^ Niger - Annual Report 2008, RSF 124. ^ Agadez-based journalist to be released conditionally today, 6 February 2008 125. ^ Note, the ATNMC has at times been reported as the Alliance Touaregue du Niger - Mali Pour Le Changement". A substantial name change which seems sourced from what was reputed to be the official ATMNC website (http://atnmc.blogspot.com/ ), but which was only updated three times in May–June 2008 and is since inactive. "Nord Mali" seems both the logical and official name of this faction.[original research?] 126. ^ Communiqué de l'ATNMC Alliance Touareg Nord Mali pour le Changement. 27 December 2008. 127. ^ Communiqué de l’ATNMC Alliance Touareg Nord Mali pour le Changement 28 December 2008. 128. ^ Mali president warns Tuareg rebels. AFP. 22 December 2008. 129. ^ Nord-Mali: De la rébellion au terrorisme. B.S. Diarra. Aurore (Bamako) 26 January 2009 130. ^ Mali: un responsable humanitaire veut rencontrer les prisonniers touareg. AFP. 13 January 2009 131. ^ Algeria lifts hands on Bahanga and Mali plots liquidating him. El Khabar: A.K/ Translation A.A. 14 January 2009.

132. ^ La confiance tarde à régner dans le nord du Mali. "R. N.", El-Watan (Algeria). 8 February 2009. 133. ^ Insécurité au nord: L’Etat entretient le conflit ethnique. B. Daou. Le Républicain du 16 janvier 2009 134. ^ Rebel chief says war only option. AFP. January 25 200 135. ^ La principale base du rebelle Ibrahim Ag Bahanga "détruite". ARP 21 January 2009 136. ^ Sécurité: Enfin, l’armée régulière prend l’initiative. A. Keïta. Aurore (Bamako). 26 January 2009 137. ^ Forte offensive contre Bahanga: Col Gamou a fait hier 20 morts, 10 otages ... dans les rangs des bandits armés. Abdoulaye Diakité Markatié Daou, L'indicateur Renouveau, 23 January 2009 138. ^ Tuareg leader demands release of rebels held by Mali army. AFP. 26 January 2009 139. ^ Ag Bahanga demande à réintégrer l’Accord d’Alger. "R. N.", El-Watan (Algeria). 4 February 2009. 140. ^ Mali army refuses truce with Tuareg rebels: ministry. AFP. 2 February 2009. 141. ^ a b Mali: les rebelles touaregs fuient en Algérie Afrik.com - 06/02/09 142. ^ Mali: Peut-on enfin faire confiance à Ag Bahanga? San Evariste Barro, L'Observateur Paalga (Ouagadougou). 4 February 2009. 143. ^ Ibrahim Ag Bahanga. Jeune Afrique, Cherif Ouazani. 27 January 2009 144. ^ Après s’être démarqué de Bahanga: L’Alliance du 23 mai transfère sa base à Tombouctou en accord avec l’Etat. Chahana TAKIOU- L’Indépendant, 30 January 2009. 145. ^ Situation dans la région de l’adrar des ifoghas: 180 déserteurs de l’armée autorisés à rentrer dans le camp de Kidal L’indépendant, Chahana TAKIOU. 5 February 2009. 146. ^ Situation au Nord: Bahanga, la débandade. Bassaro Touré, Nouvelle République (Bamako), 06/02/2009 147. ^ Niger/Mali: forum à Niamey sur la question touareg. AFP. 25 February 2009 148. ^ Forum de Niamey sur la paix au nord du Niger et du Mali: Malentendu autour de «l’approche malienne». L'Indépendant (Bamako) 2 March 2009. Also quotes Le Republicain (Niamey) 149. ^ The original communiques were posted on the group's website, [3]. See communique #1:Création du Front Patriotique Nigérien, F.P.N., 10 March 2009. 150. ^ Appel de Kadhafi aux rebelles touaregs du Niger et du Mali. Reuters. 15 March 2009. 151. ^ Niger: Scission au sein des rebelles touaregs. RFI 13 March 2009. 152. ^ Niger: Des groupes de rebelles touaregs et une délégation du gouvernement nigérien ont affirmé leur engagement pour la paix, lors d'une rencontre avec le numéro un libyen Mouammar Kadhafi à Tripoli. AFP. 7 April 2009. 153. ^ Vers une médiation avec les touaregs. RFI. 4 April 2009 154. ^ Niamey et les rebelles touaregs s'engagent en faveur de la paix. Reuters. 8 April 2009. "Le président de la République, son excellence Tandja Mamadou, vient ainsi d'envoyer à travers cet acte un signal fort en direction du retour de la paix. C'est pourquoi toutes les parties prenantes investies de cette mission portent désormais sur elles la responsabilité historique de surmonter toutes les contradictions et d'aller vers la concrétisation des ces engagements, concrétisation qui doit se traduire par un accord formel de paix." 155. ^ Fin de la visite de travail du ministre d'Etat, ministre de l'Intérieur, de la Sécurité Publique et de la Décentralisation, en Grande Jamahiriya Arabe Libyenne, Populaire et Socialiste: des résultats réconfortants à tous points de vue. Adine Ag Aglasse, Le Sahel. 15 April 2009 156. ^ Le FPN annonce des avancées vers la paix dans le nord du Niger. Pana Press. 26 March 2009. 157. ^ Le PAM réinstalle 20.000 personnes dans le Nord du Niger. PANA Press. 28 April 2009. 158. ^ Niger extends state of emergency in Tuareg north. AFP. 24 May 2009. 159. ^ Founding ceremony for Niger uranium mine. World Nuclear News. 5 May 2009 160. ^ "Niger leader meets Tuareg rebels". BBC News. 4 May 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8032322.stm. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 161. ^ State TV: Tuareg rebels in Niger release hostage. DALATOU MAMANE. AFP. 4 May 2009. 162. ^ Niger government and rebels in disarmament talks. AFP. 5 May 2009. 163. ^ Niger's Tuareg rebels refuse to disarm. AFP. 12 May2009. 164. ^ Cease-fire truce reached with Niger rebels. UPI. 15 May 2009. 165. ^ Retour de la paix dans la zone nord du pays: Lancement de l'opération de cantonnement des: combattants du Front pour la libération nationale (FLN). H. Hafizou, Louisiana GRIFFE N° 318. 15 June 2009. 166. ^ INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE: “ Les armes se sont tues mais il y a un travail à faire pour qu’elles soient remises ”, affirme Aklou SIDI, président du FPN. DIM, AÏR-INFO (Agadez) N°97-98. 5 June 2009 167. ^ Fowler freed from captivity. Winnipeg Sun. 23 April. 168. ^ Kidnappings a ‘message’ from rebels in Sahel. John Thorne, The National (Canada). 1 May 2009 169. ^ Crisis began with nomadic rebels. Toronto Star. 23 April 2009 170. ^ Mali: Al-Qaeda Group Executes Briton. AllAfica. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 171. ^ British hostage executed by Islamists in Mali. AFP. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 172. ^ "Al-Qaeda 'kills British hostage'". BBC News. 3 June 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8080447.stm. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 173. ^ "Algeria and Mali target al-Qaeda". BBC News. 6 May 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8035952.stm. Retrieved 25 November 2011.

Tuareg Rebels on Brink of Shutting Down Niger’s Uranium Mining. James Finch, stockinterview.com: July 20, 2007. • Unrest in the Sahara. An Al-Jazeera news special report from Niger and Mali, 21 July 2008. Includes several video reports, articles, and a geotagged interactive map of the reporters journey through northern Mali and Niger. Further reading Emerson, Stephen A. (2011). "Desert insurgency: lessons from the third Tuareg rebellion". Small Wars & Insurgencies 22 (4): 669–687. doi:10.1080/09592318.2011.573406. External links • IRIN - humanitarian news and analysis including frequent reports on the situation in northern Niger • The Niger Movement for Justice (Mouvement des Nigériens pour la justice, MNJ) Press site.: three to ten communiqués a week have been posted since April 2007. • Reputed press site of the ALLIANCE TOUAREGUE NIGER-Mali: created 31 August 2007. • Rebels in Niger Threaten More Attacks • Reuters/alertnet.org: Articles on Niger-Mali Tuareg unrest. • (French) temoust.org current news: Updated news at France based Tuareg nationalist group. • Secrets in the Sand. Two part BBC Radio documentary on US involvement and potential instability in the Sahel. First broadcast August 2005. • Tuareg Culture and News An educational website for study and research on the Tuareg people, with articles directly concerning the Second Tuareg Rebellion. • Security and Insecurity in North Africa Jeremy Keenan (2006) Security and Insecurity in North Africa. Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE) No. 108: 269-296. ISSN: 0305-6244 • Unrest in the Sahara (Aljazeera English) •

Areas where significant numbers of Tuaregs live Nigerien Rebel President Aghaly Ag Alambo, giving an interview in the MNJ's Aïr Mountains base, January - February 2008. Nigerien soldiers from the 322nd Parachute Regiment, Maradi, Niger, April 2007.

A Tuareg man walks through an abandoned village. The rebellion has scattered civilians deeper into the Aïr Mountains of Niger, or to the regional capital of Agadez. January 2008. A United States 10th Special Forces Group soldier training Malian Armed Forces, 2004. The United States aided in the resupply of Malian forces during the siege of Kidal. A group of Nigerien rebel fighters in northern Niger, January - February 2008. Some wear United States style desert camouflage distributed to Malian Armed forces.

MNJ rebels shown in desert combat by a press photographer, near Aïr Mountains in January 2008. Rebels with the Movement of Nigeriens for Justice, published April 2008, likely taken January 2008 (Voice of America).

MNJ rebel Vice President Acharif Ag Mohamed El Moctar, killed in a Nigerien Army offensive at Tezirzaït, June 2008. Rebel armed forces leader Amoumene Kalakouawa fought in the last Tuareg uprising during the 1990s. He says the state still neglects nomads despite a decade-old peace deal. April 2008 (VOA). A Nigerien rebel fighter mans a gun in northern Niger, from the Niger Movement for Justice. January- February 2008.

Fatimana Imola, a Tuareg woman in Northern Niger is interviewed by Voice of America journalists. She says army officers killed and dismembered her younger brother, Imola Kalakouawa when they suspected him of planting a mine in June 2007. Vice Mayor of Iferouane Niger, Mohamed Houma. His town was largely abandoned by civilians from mid 2007 to 2009. Nigerien journalist Moussa Kaka was arrested and held for over a year by the government for interviewing MNJ leaders.

Map of the southern Aïr Mountains. Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi made several personal interventions in both the Malian and Nigerien conflicts, providing refuge for Malian rebels in 2008 and 2009, and serving as an emissary during the 2009 iger ceasefire talks.

Tuareg rebellion (2012)

Map of the rebel territorial claims and rebel attacks as of 5 April 2012

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Date Location 17 January 2012 – 6 April 2012 (2 months, 2 weeks and 6 days) Northern Mali MNLA/Ansar Dine victory • • • • Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré is ousted by a coup d'état[1] MNLA and Ansar Dine take control of all Northern Mali territory[2] Independent state of Azawad declared by the MNLA[3] and initially supported by Ansar Dine[4] Conflict between the MNLA and Ansar Dine (the latter receiving support from AQIM[5] and MOJWA). Belligerents Mali Supported by: FLNA[8][9] ECOWAS US[6][7] Azawad MNLA Islamists Ansar Dine[10] MOJWA[11] Commanders and leaders Amadou Toumani Touré (until March) Sadio Gassama (until March) El Haji Ag Gamou (until March) Amadou Sanogo (since March 2012) Mohamed Lamine Ould Sidatt (FLNA) Housseine Khoulam (FLNA)[8] Strength 7,000–7,800 regulars, 4,800 paramilitaries,3,000 MNLA: 3,000[15][16] militia (overall military strength) Ansar Dine: ~300[16] Mahmoud Ag Aghaly Bilal Ag Acherif Moussa Ag Acharatoumane Ag Mohamed Najem[12] Iyad ag Ghaly[13] Omar Ould Hamaha[14]

Status

~500 (FLNA)[8] Casualties and losses 162+ killed,[17][18] 400 captured[19] 65 killed (Malian sources)[18][20] Total: 1,000–1,500+ killed, captured or deserted[15] Displaced: ~100,000 refugees abroad[21] 100,000+ internally displaced persons[22]Total: ~250,000[23] The Tuareg Rebellion of 2012, part of the 2012 northern Mali conflict, was a war of independence against the Malian government in the Sahara desert region of Azawad.[24] It was led by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and was part of a series of insurgencies by traditionally nomadic Tuaregs which date back at least to 1916. The MNLA was formed by former insurgents and a significant number of heavily armed Tuaregs who fought in the Libyan civil war.[25] On 22 March, President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état over his handling of the crisis, a month before a presidential election was to have taken place.[26] Mutineering soldiers, under the banner of the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State, (CNRDR) suspended the constitution of Mali, although this move was reversed on 1 April.[27] The Islamist group Ansar Dine, too, began fighting the government in later stages of the conflict, claiming control of vast swathes of territory, albeit disputed by the MNLA. As a consequence of the instability following the coup, Northern Mali's three largest cities—Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu— were overrun by the rebels[28] on three consecutive days.[29][30] On 5 April, after the capture of Douentza, the MNLA said that it had accomplished its goals and called off its offensive. The following day, it proclaimed Azawad's independence from Mali.[31] After the end of hostilities with the Malian Army, however, Tuareg nationalists and Islamists struggled to reconcile their conflicting visions for the intended new state.[32] On 27 June, Islamists from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) clashed with the MNLA in the Battle of Gao, wounding MNLA secretary-general Bilal Ag Acherif and taking control of the city.[33] By 17 July, MOJWA and Ansar Dine had pushed the MNLA out of all the major cities.[34] Background For decades prior to the 2012 rebellion, Tuareg political leaders had asserted that the nomadic Tuareg people were marginalized and consequently impoverished in both Mali and Niger, and that mining projects had damaged important pastoral areas. Issues such as climate change and a rooted background of forced modernization onto the northern Nomadic areas of Mali have caused much tension between the Tuareg peoples and the Malian government.[35] Tuareg separatist groups had staged previous unsuccessful rebellions in 1990 and in 2007. Many of the Tuaregs currently fighting in the rebellion have received training from Gadaffi's Islamic Legion during his tenure in Libya. Hence many of the combatants are experienced with a variety of warfare techniques that have posed major problems to the national governments of Mali and Niger. [36] The MNLA is an offshoot of a Tuareg political movement known as the National Movement for Azawad (MNA) prior to the 2012 insurgency.[25] After the end of the Libyan civil war, an influx of weaponry led to the arming of the Tuareg in their demand for independence for Azawad.[37] Many of the returnees from Libya were said to have come back for financial reasons such as losing their savings, as well as due to the alleged racism of the NTC's fighters and militias.[38] Another commentator described the US as a catalyst for the rebellion, citing the training of Tuareg rebels by the U.S. and the overthrow of Libya's government in 2011.[39] The strength of this uprising and the use of heavy weapons, which were not present in the previous conflicts, were said to have "surprised" Malian officials and observers. Such issues arise from an illicit weapons trade around the Sahel region that is linked to a variety of factors, including the funneling of weapons from Libya.[40] Though dominated by Tuaregs, the MNLA claimed to represent other ethnic groups as well,[41] and was reportedly joined by some Arab leaders.[25] The MNLA's leader Bilal Ag Acherif said that the onus was on Mali to either give the Saharan peoples their self-determination or they would take it themselves.[38] Another Tuareg-dominated group, the Islamist Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), also fought against the government. However, according to the BBC, unlike the MNLA it does not seek independence but rather the impositions of sharia across united Mali.[21] The movement's leader Iyad Ag Ghaly, who was part of the early 1990s rebellion, is believed to be linked to an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that is led by his cousin Hamada Ag Hama.[42] Iyad Ag Ghaly was also said to have been affiliated with Algeria's Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (DRS) since 2003. There were also reports of an Algerian military presence in the area on 20 December 2011. Though Mali said they were in coordination against AQIM, there were no reported attacks in the region at the time; the MNLA even complained that the Malian government had not done enough to fight AQIM. Locals believed that the presence was due to the MNLA's promise to root out AQIM which was involved in drug trafficking allegedly with the connivance of high-ranking officers and threatened to turn Mali into a narcostate.[15] Course of the conflict January 2012 Main articles: Battle of Menaka, Battle of Tessalit, and Battle of Aguelhok According to Stratfor, the first attacks took place in Ménaka on 16 and 17 January. On 17 January attacks in Aguelhok and Tessalit were reported. The Mali government claimed to have regained control of all three towns the next day.[43] On 24 January the rebels retook Aguelhok after the Malian army ran out of ammunition.[15] The next day the Mali government once again recaptured the city.[43] On 26 January, rebels attacked and took control over the northern Mali towns of Andéramboukane and Léré

after clashes with the military.[44] Stratfor also reported an attack on Niafunké on 31 January.[43] The Agence FrancePresse (AFP) reported that the rebels had captured Ménaka on 1 February.[45] On 13 February, the French radio station RFI reported statements by the Malian army that the MNLA had carried out executions of its soldiers on 24 January by slitting their throats or shooting them in the head. French Development Minister Henri de Raincourt mentioned that there had been about 60 deaths, while a Malian officer involved in burying the dead told the AFP that 97 soldiers had been killed.[46] However, the evidence was unverified and partly denied as fabricated by the MNLA.[15] Mali launched air and land counter operations to take back seized territory,[47] and Touré then reorganised his senior commanders for the fight against the rebels.[48] February In early February 2012, talks were held in Algiers between Malian Foreign Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga and a Tuareg rebel group known as the 23 May 2006 Democratic Alliance for Change. The agreement called for a ceasefire and the opening of a dialogue. However, the MNLA rejected the agreement and said that they were not represented in these talks.[49] On 1 February, the MNLA took control of the city of Menaka when the Malian army operated what they called a tactical retreat. The violence in the north led to anti-rebellion protests which shut down Bamako, Mali's capital. Dozens of Malian soldiers were also killed in fighting in Aguelhok.[50] Following the Bamako protests, the interior minister took the place of the defense minister. President Touré also called on the population to not attack any community after some Tuaregs' properties were attacked in the protests.[50] On 4 February, the rebels said that they were attacking the city of Kidal, while the Malian army said that their troops were firing heavy weapons to prevent the city from being attacked. As a result of the fighting, 3,500 civilians left the city to cross the border into Mauritania. Previously an estimated 10,000 civilians had fled to refugee camps in Niger after the fighting in Menaka and Andéramboukane.[51] Official Malian sources reported that 20 Tuareg rebels have been killed by the army in the Timbuktu region, most of them being killed by helicopter gunships.[20] On 8 February, the MNLA seized the MaliAlgeria border town of Tinzaouaten, forcing Malian soldiers to escape into Algeria.[52] A rebel spokesman said that they were able to gain weapons and military vehicles found in the military camps of the city. The fight for the town killed one government soldier and one rebel.[53] During the month, Niafunké was also captured and then lost again by the rebels.[54] On 23 February, Médecins Sans Frontières stated that a girl had been killed and ten other women and children injured when the Malian air force bombed a camp for IDPs in the north. The MNLA had repeatedly accused the Malian government of indiscriminate bombings by Malian attack helicopters piloted by foreign mercenaries.[55] March: until the coup d'état On 4 March, a new round of fighting was reported near the formerly rebel-held town of Tessalit.[56] The next day, three Malian army units gave up trying to lift the siege.[15][57] The United States Air Force air-dropped supplies via a C-130 in support of the besieged Malian soldiers.[6] On 11 March, the MNLA re-took Tessalit and its airport after efforts by the government and its allies to re-supply the town failed and the Malian military forces fled towards the border with Algeria. The MNLA announced that they had also captured several soldiers, as well as light and heavy weapons and armored vehicles.[58] About 600 Tuareg fighters took part in the battle.[59] The rebels advanced to about 125 kilometers away from Timbuktu and their advance was unchecked when they entered without fighting in the towns of Diré and Goundam.[60] A Malian military source said that as the cities were overrun the military planned to defend Niafunké.[61] The French newspaper Libération also reported claims that the rebels controlled one third of Mali and that the Malian army was struggling to fight back. One of the three government helicopters manned by Ukrainian mercenaries had also broke down, while the two others were being kept to protect the south.[62][63][64] Ansar Dine also claimed to have control of the Mali-Algeria border. It was reported that its leaders were planning a prisoner swap with the Malian government.[65] Coup d'état Main article: 2012 Malian coup d'état On 21 March, Malian soldiers attacked defense minister Sadio Gassama, who was there to speak to them about the rebellion, at an army base near Bamako. The mutineers were dissatisfied with Touré's handling of the insurgency and the equipment they had received to fight the insurgents.[66] Later that day, soldiers stormed the presidential palace, forcing Touré into hiding.[67] The next morning, Captain Amadou Sanogo, the chairman of the new National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR), made a television appearance in which he announced that the junta had suspended Mali's constitution and taken control of the nation.[68] The CNRDR would serve as an interim regime until power could be returned to a new, democratically elected government.[69] The coup was "unanimously condemned" by the international community,[70] including by the United Nations Security Council,[71] the African Union,[71] and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which announced on 29 March that the CNRDR had 72 hours to relinquish control before landlocked Mali's borders would be closed by its neighbours,[72] its assets would be frozen by the West African Economic and Monetary Union, and individuals in the CNRDR would get freezes on their assets and travel bans.[73] ECOWAS[74] and the African Union also suspended Mali. The U.S., the World Bank, and the African Development Bank suspended development aid funds in support of ECOWAS and the AU's reactions to the coup.[75][76] An agreement was mediated between the junta and ECOWAS negotiators on 6 April, in which both Sanogo and Touré would resign, sanctions would be lifted, the mutineers would be granted amnesty, and power would pass to National Assembly of Mali Speaker Diouncounda Traoré.[77] Following Traoré's inauguration, he pledged to "wage a total and relentless war" on the Tuareg rebels unless they released their control of northern Malian cities.[78] Renewed offensives

As a result of the uncertainty following the coup, the rebels launched an offensive with the aim of capturing several towns and army camps abandoned by the Malian army.[79] The MNLA took the town of Anefis without a fight, and the Malian Army reportedly abandoned their posts in several other northern towns as well.[80] Though the offensive ostensibly included both the MNLA and Ansar Dine, according to Jeremy Keenan of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, the latter group's contribution was slight: "What seems to happen is that when they move into a town, the MNLA take out the military base – not that there's much resistance – and Iyad [ag Aghaly] goes into town and puts up his flag and starts bossing everyone around about sharia law."[81] On 24 March, Amadou Sanogo, the leader of the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State, announced his intention to seek peace talks with the MNLA.[82] Negotiations reportedly took place in Niger.[83] France's Henri de Raincourt later said that the MNLA were in talks with the government under the auspices of ECOWAS in Burkina Faso.[84] Main article: Battle of Kidal On 30 March, the rebels seized control of Kidal, the capital of the Kidal Region.[85] Ansar Dine reportedly entered the town from the south after a day of heavy fighting.[86] Responding to the loss, Sanogo called on Mali's neighbours to provide military aid to "save the civilian population and Mali's territorial integrity."[85] On the same day, the MNLA took control of the cities of Ansongo and Bourem in the Gao region,[87] as the army said it was leaving its positions in both cities to support the defence of Gao,[88] which was the headquarters of the Malian Army in the north.[89] One administrator in Bourem was reportedly killed by the rebels.[90] In the morning of 31 March,[83] rebels entered Gao carrying their Azawad flag.[91] The MOJWA also stated that it was part of the forces attacking and occupying Gao.[92] Though the Malian Army then used helicopters to respond to the attack,[91] they abandoned their bases around Gao later in the day.[93] The MNLA then took control of the city.[94] Both MNLA and Ansar Dine flags were reported around the city, leading to conflicting reports of which group was in control.[28] The Associated Press reported accounts of a refugee that "signs of disunity" had begun to appear between the MNLA and Ansar Dine, including the removal of MNLA flags from Kidal.[95] Of the city's two military camps, the MNLA took control of Camp 1, the Malian Army's former operational centre against the rebellion,[96] while Ansar Dine took control of Camp 2.[97] A prison was reportedly opened, while public buildings were said to have been looted by civilians.[98] The rebels were also alleged to have looted bank safes, while Ansar Dine had begun imposing Sharia.[99] Shops in the city also closed.[83] Gao MP Abdou Sidibe said that Gao's residents were not being allowed to leave the city.[29] Checkpoints were erected around Timbuktu[83] as rebel forces encircled it[97] with the MNLA saying that it sought to "dislodge Mali's remaining political and military administration" in the region.[100] Malian soldiers with southern origins were reported to have started evacuating Timbuktu, while Arab soldiers from the north were left to defend the city.[101] Capture of Timbuktu and Douentza The next day, the rebels began attacking the outskirts of Timbuktu[102] at dawn[99] as reports indicated that government soldiers had deserted at least one of the bases.[98] The attack occurred with the use of heavy arms and automatic weapons,[99] which had been left by the Malian Army's deserters earlier.[103] Al Jazeera reported the capture of Timbuktu the day an ECOWAS imposed 72-hour deadline to start returning to civilian rule was set to expire.[73] The defence of the city was left mostly to local Arab militias as most of the Malian Army fled.[104] The MNLA then took over Timbuktu without much fighting, celebrating its victory carrying the Azawad flag on pick-up trucks around the city.[98] The MNLA then stated that it had succeeded in the "full liberation" of the Timbuktu region.[105] Kidal-based Colonel El Haji Ag Gamou of the Malian Army[63] announced his defection to the MNLA with 500 of his troops.[106] Ag Gamou and his men later fled to Niger, Ag Gamou stating that he had pretended to join the MNLA only to save his men. His regiment was disarmed by the Nigerien army and placed in a refugee camp, pushing the numbers of Malian soldiers who have sought refuge in Niger to more than 1,000.[107] On 6 April, it was reported that Douentza was also under the control of the MNLA, who announced that the city was last capture in the region they claimed.[108] The speed of capturing the larger towns was read as a consequence of the instability in Bamako with the junta's hands bound between the rebels and the threat of economic sanctions by ECOWAS and others.[109] With ECOWAS troops on stand-by for a first-ever intervention in a membership country, Sanogo said: "As of today we are committed to restore the 1992 constitution and all the institutions of the republic. However given the multi-dimensional crisis we face, we'll need a transition period to preserve the national unity. We will start talks with all political entities to put into place a transitional body that will oversee free and transparent elections in which we won't take part."[74] Declaration of independence and escalating tensions Further information: Azawadi declaration of independence After the fall of Douentza, amidst reports of tensions between secularists and Islamists in Timbuktu and Gao, the MNLA called for the international community to protect what they called Azawad. However, other African states and supranational bodies unanimously rejected the partition of Mali. The day before the UNSC had called for an end to hostilities. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said, "There will not be a military solution with the Tuaregs. There needs to be a political solution."[110] Juppé referred to the MNLA as a credible interlocutor in the ongoing dialogue between Paris and the feuding factions in Mali, acknowledging it as distinct from Ansar Dine and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, groups with which he ruled out negotiations.[111] On 6 April, stating that it had secured all of its desired territory, the MNLA declared independence from Mali. However, the declaration was rejected as invalid by the African Union and the European Union.[112] As of 8 April, the MNLA was holding 400 Malian soldiers captured during the conflict. The prisoners suffered from a lack of hygiene, and an MNLA commander said that neither the government of Bamako nor the humanitarian organizations cared about them.[19]

On 15 May, Amnesty International released a report alleging that fighters with the MNLA and Ansar Dine were "running riot" in Mali's north,[113] documenting instances of gang rape, extrajudicial executions, and the use of child soldiers by both Tuareg and Islamist groups.[114] Human rights situation On 4 April 2012, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees said that in addition to the roughly 200,000 displaced persons, up to 400 people a day were crossing the borders into Burkina Faso and Mauritania. The UNHCR's spokesperson Melissa Fleming said: "The north of the country is becoming more and more dangerous due to the proliferation of armed groups in the region. We are stepping up our assistance to Malian refugees across the Sahel region who face acute water and food shortages. We'd like to reiterate that UNHCR is committed to helping neighbouring countries and host communities which have been providing safety and shelter to the refugees despite these shortages and the difficult conditions."[115] The rebellion was described by BBC News as having adverse effects on Mali's impending food shortage, with more than 13 million Malians expected to be effected by drought.[116] On 3 April, armed groups looted 2,354 tons of food from United Nations' World Food Programme's warehouses in Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu, causing the WFP to suspend its operations in northern Mali.[117] Other targets of looting included hospitals, hotels, government offices, Oxfam offices and the offices and warehouses of other unnamed aid groups.[118] The WFP also stated that 200,000 had so far fled the fighting, predicting that the number would rise.[119] Ansar Dine were reported to have intervened against looters. The CRNDR's spokesman Amadou Konare claimed that "women and girls have been kidnapped and raped by the new occupants who are laying down their own law."[29] On 6 April, Amnesty International warned that Mali was "on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster".[120] Ansar Dine were also reported to have ransacked bars and establishments that served alcohol, while banning western music from being broadcast.[21] Most hotels in the city were empty or closed, with the tourism industry in the doldrums.[121] Similar reports of changing music on the radio to prayers chants was reported from Kidal, while in Gao, shops and churches were ransacked, while Ansar Dine were also reported to have put the head of a dead soldier on a spike at a military base they briefly held before the MNLA took it over.[122] Ethnic tensions The conflict has strained the ethnic tolerance that Mali was once known for. The Tuaregs and Arabs who lived in Bamako and elsewhere in "South" Mali have been subjects of a rash of ethnic attacks by "black Malians" (as opposed to Mediterranean Arabs and racially-mixed Tuaregs), despite many of them being hostile to Azawad separatism as well as the Islamists. In fact, many of these actually had only recently come to the "South", fleeing the violence in the North[123] and ideological repression for not supporting Azawad separatism.[124] By May, 60000 people, mostly Tuaregs, had fled ethnic reprisals. One Tuareg interviewee, who had originally fled from the Northern town of Kidal to Bamako, and then to Mbera, said that "Some of them were saying the Tuareg people killed their relatives - and that now they must do the same to the Tuareg who are among them", and that the incident that prompted him to leave was watching policemen beat a Tuareg fellow policeman.[123] The Jamestown Foundation, a US-based think tank, challenged MNLA's statement that it represents all the ethnic groups of Azawad, stating that in practice, almost all of its members were Tuaregs, who saw in the rebellion a chance to establish a separate state for the Tuaregs of northern Mali,[124] while other ethnic groups of the region—the Arabs/Moors as well as the various black groups (Fulani, Songhay, etc.)—were much less enthusiastic. By the late spring of 2012, they began forming their own, often ethnic-based, militias.[125] Some Arabs/Moors opposed to the rebellion formed the National Liberation Front of Azawad, which held non-secessionist, non-Islamist views, and stated its intention to fight for "a return to peace and economic activity".[126] Towns captured by rebels Date captured Date lost Date recaptured Held by Town Ménaka Aguelhok Tessalit Andéramboukane Léré
[127] [44]

16–17 January 17 24 January 17 January 26 January 26 January 8 February ~February ~13 March (unsure if held) ~13 March (unsure if held) 23 March 30 March
[54]

18 January January

1 February[50] ? 11 March[58]

MNLA ? MNLA MNLA MNLA MNLA

January 18 25 January 18 January

Tinzaouaten[52] Niafunké Diré[60] Goundam[60] Anefis[128] Kidal
[85]

February

?

? ? ? MNLA Ansar Dine

Ansongo[87] Bourem Gao
[93] [87]

30 March 30 March 31 March 1 April > 2 April

Ansar Dine MNLA Ansar Dine/MOJWA Ansar Dine[10] MNLA MNLA

Timbuktu[73] Douentza
[citation needed]

Ber[127][third-party source needed] ?

Konna 10 January 2013 Ansar Dine Reactions States ECOWAS warned the rebels and asked its member states to send logistical support to Mali,[129] while also trying to negoitiate a ceasefire.[130] Mauritania denied working with Mali to quell the uprising;[60] however President Abdel Aziz, along with Malian officials, claimed the MNLA worked with AQIM by citing the alleged massacre of soldiers.[15] Algeria withdrew military advisors and suspended military aid to Mali at the end of January to increase pressure on the government as it also tried to mediate a resolution to the conflict.[131] On a 26 February visit to Bamako, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé suggested the government of Mali negotiate with the MNLA; however, he was criticised for trying to legitimise a rebellion seen in the south as run by sectarian opportunists.[132] After the coup and the advances by the rebels, the United States followed a warning that the region was becoming an Al Qaeda base with its support of ECOWAS' efforts as it was further worried by the rebel advances.[89] In early April, the AU said it had imposed targeted sanctions on the leaders of the rebel groups.[115] The United Nations Security Council held an emergency session over the dual crisis on 4 April[21] after France called for the meeting. Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for political affairs B. Lynn Pascoe gave a brief to the UNSC, after which U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said that an UN official had complained that the Malian government gave up ground to the rebels "without much of a fight."[133] Juppé called for a collective response by the UNSC to the "Islamist threat" in the region.[134] [edit] Media Amongst the media reactions to the uprising, Agence France-Presse was accused by Andy Morgan of Think Africa Press of uncritically accepting the government portrayal of the rebels as "armed bandits," "drug traffickers" and "Qaddafi mercenaries."[25] The Los Angeles Times suggested that even without international recognition the gains by the rebels would be a de facto partitioning of Mali.[135] The Editorial Board of The Washington Post called for NATO military intervention against the Tuareg.[136] Social media amongst the Tuareg diaspora was reported to be euphoric at the imminent "liberation," while those in southern Mali were strongly against what they called "bandits" in the north whom they said should be "killed." The Malian press was also quick to criticise the uprising.[25] In late June, Reuters noted that in contrast to the Islamists who had "appropriated the uprising" from them, the Tuareg separatists were "regarded in the West as having some legitimate political grievances".[137] See also Mali portal Military history portal Politics portal 2010s portal • • Aftermath of the Libyan civil war List of modern conflicts in North Africa

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Retrieved 2 April 2012. 133. ^ "AFP: UN Council hammers out condemnation of Mali conflict". Google. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jZ9grPfu0TWqNu4VZE6rRlTWKRCA?docId=CNG. 18f2de9d4c145d61a54efeb26eb8e9ae.131. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 134. ^ Philippe Rater and Sofia Bouderbala (3 April 2012). "France fears Al-Qaeda allied to Mali rebels". The Daily Star. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2012/Apr-03/169048-mali-rebels-near-central-town-of-moptifrance.ashx#axzz1r9YF0LWZ. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 135. ^ Robyn Dixon (4 April 2012). "Gains of Mali's Tuareg rebels appear permanent, analysts say". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/lafg-mali-tuaregs20120404,0,5399355.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3 A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29. Retrieved 4 April 2012. 136. ^ Editorial Board (6 April 2012). "NATO nations must help restore order in Mali". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/nato-nationsmust-help-restore-order-in-mali/2012/04/05/gIQAFK1LyS_story.html. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 137. ^ "Mali: Islamist Militants Claim Control in North". New York Times (Reuters). 28 June 2012. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/world/asia/mali-islamist-militantsclaim-control-in-north.html?ref=mali&gwh=DFE6215DB14601A245686B36D78F722D. Further reading • Stephen A. Emerson (2011). "Desert insurgency: lessons from the third Tuareg rebellion". Small Wars & Insurgencies 22 (4): 669–687. doi:10.1080/09592318.2011.573406. • Jean Sebastian Lecocq (2010). Disputed Desert: Decolonisation, Competing Nationalisms and Tuareg Rebellions in Northern Mali. Afrika-Studiecentrum series. 19. Leiden. ISBN 978-90-04-13983-1. • Walther, Olivier; Christopoulos Dimitris (2012). "A social network analysis of Islamic terrorism and the Malian rebellion". CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper 38. http://www.ceps.lu/?type=module&id=104&tmp=1902. Retrieved 23 November 2012.

Battle of Menaka 17 Jan 2012
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Date Location Result 17 January 2012 Menaka, Mali Malian victory • MNLA attack is repelled 2012 Tuareg rebellion begins Azawad MNLA Ag Assalat Habi[1] 200 many killed, 6 vehicles destroyed (Army claim)[1]

Mali Malian Army Unknown 120 soldiers 1 helicopter 1 killed (Army claim)[1]

• Aguelhok • Kidal 2012 Malian coup d'état Islamist-Tuareg conflict: • Gao Foreign intervention: • Konna • Serval The Battle of Menaka was fought between the MNLA and the Malian army. Shooting was said to have started on January 17, when the MNLA reportedly attacked a Malian army barracks stationed on the town. Fighting intensified throughout the day, until a government helicopter forced the attackers to retreat.[2] This was the start of the 2012 Northern Mali conflict and the 2012 Tuareg rebellion. References 1. ^ a b c Tuareg rebels attack towns in northern Mali 2. ^ "Mali Besieged by Fighters Fleeing Libya". Stratfor. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://stratfor.com/weekly/mali-besieged-fighters-fleeing-libya. Retrieved 22 March 2012.

Battle of Tessalit 18 January-11 March 2012
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Date Location Result 18 January-11 March 2012 Tessalit, Mali MNLA victory • MNLA captures Tessalit • Malian army retreats to Algeria Azawad MNLA Bayes Ag Dicknane[1] 600[1] of killed and some 100+ killed, 50-100 captured, 30 vehicles destroyed (Army claim)[3]

Mali Malian Army Supported by:USAF Unknown Unknown Unknown number captured[2]

The Battle of Tessalit was fought between Mali and Azawad for control of the town. Siege The siege was said to have started on 18 January, when a large army of MNLA fighters surrounded the town of Tessalit, where some 400 Malian soldiers were stationed. The siege continued on for more than 1 month, where the Malian army tried desperately to lift the siege. On several occasions the U.S air force helped supply the civilians living in Tessalit, by dropping food crates to help feed the besieged population.[4] Bayes Ag Dicknane, the MNLA general, reported that the Taureg force numbered at around 600 fighters, with reinforcements coming from Libya, Algeria, Chad,

and Nigeria.[1] On 16 February, an army convoy, backed by helicopter gunships, was trying to break through rebel positions and bring supplies and reinforcement to the besieged military base. The military claimed of killing more than 100 rebels, capturing 50-100 and destroying 30 rebel vehicles. But the convoy was reportedly not able to reach the base, according to the rebels who said they suffered no fatalities and only three wounded.[3] On March 4, after one month of being besieged the Malian army launched an offensive to try to lift the siege, but it was unsuccessful leaving heavy casualties on Mali's side.[5][6] Despite, all the attempts by the Malian army to try to lift the siege, they failed and retreated on 11 March, giving the rebels control of the strategic town.[2] Aftermath and reactions After the MNLA won the siege, the remaining Malian army forces in the north retreated into Algeria. Hama Ag Sid'Ahmed, an MNLA spokesmen stated that the MNLA army in Tessalit captured 2 trucks, 6 mounted vehicles with machine-guns, and 2 armored personnel carriers from government forces.[2] This was considered to be the first major victory for the MNLA, giving them control of a large Malian town and garrison. References 1. ^ a b c Mali Tuaregs say they control major military base 2. ^ a b c "Tuareg rebels take Mali garrison town, say sources". http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/12/ozatpmali-rebellion-tessalit-idAFJOE82B00G20120312. 3. ^ a b "Heavy fighting in north Mali, casualties reported". Reuters. 7 February 2012. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/17/ozatp-mali-rebellion-idAFJOE81G00Q20120217. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 4. ^ "Malian forces battle Tuareg rebels". South African Press Association. News24. 4 March 2012. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Malian-forces-battle-Tuaregrebels-20120304. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 5. ^ "Malian soldiers battle Tuareg rebels in northeast: sources". Agence France-Presse. Gulf-times.com. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.gulftimes.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=490467&version=1&template_id=37&parent_id=17. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 6. ^ "Mali govt forces fail to lift garrison town siege". Reuters. 5 March 2012. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://af.reuters.com/article/maliNews/idAFL5E8E5ARS20120305?feedType=RSS&feedName=maliNews&ut m_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20reuters/AfricaMaliNews%20%28News %20/%20Africa%20/%20Mali%20News%29&pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0. Retrieved 22 March 2012.

Battle of Aguelhok 24-25 January 2012
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Date Location Result 24-25 January 2012 Aguelhok, Mali MNLA/Islamists victory • MNLA captures Aguelhok • Demonstrations occur in Bamako in protest of the killings Azawad MNLA Islamists MOJWA AQIM Ansar Dine dozens killed, 40 vehicles destroyed (Army claim)[4]

Mali Malian Army 160 killed[1] (82-97 executed)[2][3] Unknown civilian casualties

The Battle of Aguelhok was fought between forces of the Republic of Mali and the MNLA/Islamists. The battle started on 24 January 2012, when a group of MNLA and Islamists fighters attacked the Malian army base in Aguelhok. After hours of fighting, the Malian army reportedly ran out of ammunition and was forced to surrender. On January 25, reports came out that the Islamists group AQIM entered Aguelhok, and carried out a large number of executions of Malian soldiers. It was estimated that at least 90 Malian soldiers were killed by both the Islamists and the MNLA.[5] The Malian government responded by bombing Aguelhok, killing dozens of MNLA fighters in the process. On January 26, the Malian army reported to have regained control of Aguelhok, after the rest of the MNLA fighters fled the town in response to the bombings.[4] Executions When the MNLA/Islamists captured Aguelhok on January 24, the Islamists executed almost 100 Malian soldiers after they surrendered. A Malian officer who was involved in burying the victims reported that the Islamists

killed about 97 Malian soldiers and dozens of civilians.[3] However, later, a Malian official told AFP that only soldiers were executed and not civilians.[2] Aftermath and Reactions Large demonstrations occurred in the Malian capitol of Bamako, as many of the victims were from a base outside of Bamako. Many soldiers accused the government of not giving them enough supplies to fight the rebels, and that the Malian soldiers in Aguelhok were forced to surrender because they ran out of ammunition.[5] As a result of this, many people across southern Mali targeted Taureg businesses and called for the government to take better action in the rebellion. This later helped lead to the 2012 Malian coup d'etat against the Malian government. References 1. ^ Herve Bisseleua, Shefa Siegel, Allison Greenberg (12 April 2012). "Making sense of Mali". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/making-sense-of-mali1.423899. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 2. ^ a b Mali says soldiers, civilians executed during Tuareg clashes 3. ^ a b "Tuareg rebels behind January killings, confirms Mali army". Radio France International. 13 February 2012. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20120213-tuaregrebels-behind-january-killings-confirms-mali-army. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 4. ^ a b "Mali Besieged by Fighters Fleeing Libya". Stratfor. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://stratfor.com/weekly/mali-besieged-fighters-fleeing-libya. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 5. ^ a b "Mali capital paralysed by anti-rebellion protests". Reuters. 2 February 2012. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/02/ozatp-mali-rebellion-idAFJOE8110A720120202. Retrieved 7 March 2013.

Battle of Kidal 28-30 March 2012
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Date Location Result Mali Malian Army 28-30 March 2012 Kidal, Mali MNLA/Islamists victory Azawad MNLA Islamists Ansar Dine

The Battle of Kidal was a military engagement fought between the Republic of Mali and the MNLA/Islamists. Background Kidal is the 3rd biggest city in northern Mali with a population of 40,000, and it had one of the biggest Malian army bases in the north. Kidal was considered to be "the Malian stronghold in the Sahara", which made it a key target for the Islamists and the MNLA. Battle Fighting broke out on March 28, when civilians in Kidal reported that heavy fighting was being exchanged between both sides.[1] The Malian army left the town on March 30, confused about the ongoing 2012 Malian coup d'etat in the south. Reports came out the next day that the Islamists reportedly entered the town from the south, after a day of heavy fighting.[2][3] Aftermath Responding to the loss, Amadou Sanogo called on Mali's neighbors to provide military assistance to help defeat the ongoing rebellion in the north.[1] This was the biggest city the Islamists or MNLA ever captured at the time. References 1. ^ a b Mali coup: Rebels seize desert town of Kidal 2. ^ Mali coup: Rebels seize desert town of Kidal 3. ^ Mali junta in retreat as Tuareg rebels seize key towns

Malian coup d'état 21 March 2012 – 8 April 2012
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Date Location 21 March 2012 – 8 April 2012 Mali 12°39′N 8°0′W12.65°N 8°W • Renegade soldiers seize presidential palace, state media and other buildings, forcing President Touré into hiding • Renegade soldiers claim successful coup, declare nationwide curfew and suspend the constitution • Tuareg insurgency takes control of Northern Mali and declares independent nation of Azawad • December 2012 ouster of Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra and his government

Result

Government of Mali 33rd Parachute Regiment[1] National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy Presidential Guard and State (CNRDR) Amadou Sanogo (Captain and the leader of the Amadou Toumani Touré (President of Mali) CNRDR) Sadio Gassama (Brigadier General and Defense Amadou Konare (Lieutenant and a spokesman for the minister of Mali) CNRDR)[2] 3 killed 28 wounded[3] 40 unspecified people wounded[4][6] The 2012 Malian coup d'état began on 21 March, when mutinying Malian soldiers, displeased with the management of the Tuareg rebellion, attacked several locations in the capital Bamako, including the presidential palace, state television, and military barracks. The soldiers, who said they had formed the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State,[7] declared the following day that they had overthrown the government of Amadou Toumani Touré, forcing him into hiding. The coup was followed by "unanimous" international condemnation, harsh sanctions by Mali's neighbors, and the swift loss of northern Mali to Tuareg forces, leading Reuters to describe the coup as "a spectacular own-goal".[8] On 6 April, the junta agreed with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) negotiators that they would step down from power in return for the end of sanctions, giving power to a transitional government led by parliament speaker Dioncounda Traoré. In the following days, both Touré and coup leader Amadou Sanogo formally resigned;[9] however, as of 16 May, the junta was still "widely thought to have maintained overall control".[10] Background See also: Tuareg rebellion (2012) Tuareg rebels launched a major offensive against Mali's security forces and military in a bid to seize the northern town of Kidal on 6 February 2012. Some loyalist Tuareg fled to the city of Bamako, fearing reprisals after violent demonstrations in the first week of February. The Tuareg rebels had been bolstered by an influx of battle-hardened fighters from Libya.[11] On 8 February, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNAA) seized the Mali-Algeria border town of Tinzaouaten as Malian soldiers crossed into Algeria.[12] Islamist Ansar Dine demanded the imposition of Islamic law in northern Mali, while the secular Tuareg nationalist Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) have stated they want an autonomous, if not completely independent, homeland.[13] The coup attempt followed weeks of protests of the government's handling of a nomad-led rebellion in the country's north, which had dropped Touré's popularity to "a new low".[14] Soldiers demanded more weapons and resources for their campaign against the rebels, and were dissatisfied with a lack of government support for the army,[15] some soldiers having been sent to the front without sufficient food.[14] Touré was to leave office when his term expires after the presidential election in April. Factors that led to the coup[16]: • Bamako always had difficuty controlling the north of the country, a territory that had been disputed by the MNLA and its precursor groups since the 1960s. • Mali was going through a security crisis as AQIM members flooded in from Algeria and other neighboring countries. • Mali was going through a harsh food crisis that led to displaced populations, refugee camps, and starving women and children. Timeline Early events 21 March On 21 March, defence minister Brigadier General Sadio Gassama[17] went to the Kati military camp,[18] 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of Bamako, to defuse a protest planned for the next day by soldiers of the camp against perceived bad management of the conflict with the Tuareg rebellion in the north of Mali.[19] He was met with boos and 1 killed[4] 2 wounded[5]

stones were thrown at his car. He was sequestered, and his guards fired warning shots in the air.[19] The minister was released thanks to the intervention of the Kati zone commander ("commandant de zone").[19] The soldiers then stormed the weapons and ammunition reserves of the camp.[19] Two soldiers were injured,[20] but the presidency said Gassama was neither injured nor arrested.[21] Later that day, armored vehicles sealed off the presidential palace, and reporters heard 10 minutes of automatic gunfire near the headquarters of the Malian state broadcaster, whose programmes went off the air. Soldiers blocked the path to the buildings.[22] The Associated Press spoke with a soldier who said that when soldiers entered the palace, Touré's bodyguards did not defend the building. The mutinying soldiers searched the area for Touré, but he was not caught.[23] In the evening, after several hours, Mali's state broadcaster ORTM came back on the air with a brief message displayed against a backdrop of traditional Malian music and dance. "In a moment, there will be a statement by the military", the message read.[22] A riot broke out at a military garrison near the northern town of Gao, and a military student reportedly said recruits had shot into the air and took several of their senior commanding officers hostage.[24][25] 22 March Angry soldiers took over the capital city, Bamako.[13] In the morning, Amadou Konare went on state television which identified him as the spokesperson of the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR), formed by the renegade soldiers. Konare declared that the soldiers had seized power from 'the incompetent regime of Amadou Toumani Touré' and said it would look to hand over power to a new, democratically elected government.[26] Later, Captain Amadou Sanogo, identified as CNRDR's president, also went on state television to declare a dusk-to-dawn curfew "until further notice". He urged calm and condemned any pillaging.[27] Soldiers were unable to find Touré.[28] In the morning, Kenya's foreign minister, who was visiting Mali at the time, reported that Bamako airport had been closed and that he could hear gunfire.[29] Sanogo also declared the land and air borders of Mali closed until further notice.[30] A military official loyal to the President said the President was in good health, and that the Interior and the Defense Ministers were also safe – contrary to earlier reports that the defense minister had been arrested. Foreign Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga was among several ministers arrested after rebels seized the Presidential palace and other parts of the capital.[31] Amnesty International reported that Prime Minister Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé had been arrested, and that the detained ministers were being held at the military camp in Kati.[32] Later in the day it was revealed the president had sought refuge at an undisclosed army base with loyal soldiers.[23] The BBC reported that the Malian Army's elite force, the Red Berets, was still loyal to Touré.[33] Loyalists confirmed that Touré was "safe and in command" at a military camp somewhere in Bamako, under protection from his "Red Berets", a parachute regiment which he formerly served in.[4]

Amadou Toumani Touré Rebel soldiers said during the evening they intended to launch an assault on the loyalist army camp in the capital.[34] As the day progressed, the rebel soldiers looted the Presidential Palace, taking TVs and other goods, while their leader urged them to stop the celebratory gunfire, which had been responsible for at least 20 injuries in the capital.[35] Tuareg advance Inspired in part by the diversion caused by the military coup,[34] Tuareg rebels in the country's north launched incursions deeper into Mali, seizing towns and bases formerly held by government forces fighting the conflict that caused the coup. As military forces were engaged in consolidating their hold on the capital, the rebels were able to push southward with little opposition. According to the MNLA, Malian army forces have retreated to Gao.[34] 23 March The African Union suspended Mali, until "effective restoration of constitutional order is achieved without delay". Several African leaders said they had been in touch with the ousted Malian president and that he was still safe and under the protection of forces that remained loyal to him at an undisclosed location outside Bamako.[36] During the day, there were fears by the rebels that the Red Berets were preparing a counterattack against the TV station, and rebel forces set up defensive positions to repel the expected assault. The TV network went off the air several times as gunfire erupted around the station.[37] According to the BBC's West Africa correspondent, a large number of low-ranking soldiers, possibly the majority, supported the coup, while the majority of the army's officers had not come out publicly to support the coup. Captain Sonogo said in an interview with the BBC that "We are not here to confiscate any power but we are here to have an army and security forces available to assume the national security.... So once this has been fixed, I'll be able to say 'Ok, go for election' in a short period of time. I promise."[38] A joint African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) diplomatic mission met representatives of the junta, according to Mali's state television service.[13] A group of prominent Malian political figures made an announcement condemning the coup as "a step backwards", including presidential candidate Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.[39] Political parties that condemned the coup included the Alliance for Democracy in Mali, the Union for the Republic and

Democracy, the Patriotic Movement for Renewal, the Union for Democracy and Development, the Union of Democratic Forces for Progress, the Solidarity and Progress Party, the Democracy and Justice Party, and the Party for Democracy and Progress.[40] A total of 14 government officials and ministers were held hostage in the Kati military barracks outside Bamako.[13] The Tuareg rebels and the Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine said they had surrounded Kidal. An official statement from the group read: "Thanks to Allah the Almighty and his blessings, we will soon take our land in Kidal."[13] 24 March Sanogo stated that no soldiers of the Malian army remained loyal to Touré,[41] describing himself as "in total control".[42] However, an anonymous source from Sanogo's staff stated that Touré continued to be protected by members of the parachute battalion that had formed his presidential guard.[41] However, The New York Times reported an observer describing the situation as "very fluid", and that rumours of a counter-coup continued throughout the day, exacerbated by the hour-long disappearance of the Malian television signal the previous night.[43] A US State Department official also noted that Mali faced a "near-total cutoff of foreign assistance", on which the nation is heavily dependent.[43] Following reports that men in police and military uniforms were looting shops and stealing cars in Bamako, Sanogo appeared on national television to denounce the "vandalism and pillaging" and state that the perpetrators were opposition forces impersonating soldiers in order to turn public opinion against the coup.[42] Sanogo also announced his intention to seek peace talks with the Tuareg insurgents.[42] According to Mali's state television service, Sanogo also met French ambassador Christian Rouyer along with several other foreign dignitaries.[13] 25 March The Agence France-Presse reported the streets of Bamako were calm but largely deserted due to fears of looting and a petrol (gasoline) shortage. Many businesses remained closed, with Sanogo calling for them to reopen on Tuesday, 27 March.[44] It was announced that ECOWAS heads of state were planning to hold an emergency meeting in Abidjan on the 27th, the day on which the junta had called for striking civil servants to return to work.[13] A joint delegation from ECOWAS and the AU also began negotiations with the rebel soldiers to restore power to the elected government.[45] Meanwhile, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, the detained foreign minister, and 13 other imprisoned officials announced their intention to begin a hunger strike.[46] The stranded Kenyan and Zimbabwean foreign ministers were evacuated from Mali to Nigeria.[13] 26 March The Barack Obama administration in the U.S. formally suspended aid to Mali, stating that it would only resume when democracy was restored.[47] A thousand-person protest also gathered in Bamako to urge a return to democracy,[48] chanting "Down with Sanogo" and "Liberate the ORTM" (Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision du Mali).[49] The Bamako-Sénou International Airport was "partially" reopened for civilian transport.[49] 27 March Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara called on an ECOWAS meeting in Abidjan to send a "strong signal" to the mutinous soldiers that democracy must be restored;[50] he later described Mali's return to democracy as "nonnegotiable".[14] Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, the head of the ECOWAS commission, described the coup as "a threat to the entire region".[50] Hundreds of Malian protesters demonstrated at the meeting, calling for a return to civilian rule.[50] Following the meeting, ECOWAS placed peacekeeping troops on standby, hinting at possible military intervention.[14] Businesses and schools reopened following a call by the CNRDR for them to do so.[51] A spokesperson for the French embassy confirmed that Ambassador Christian Rouyer had spoken with Touré by telephone, and that Touré had stated that he was safe.[50] The Tuareg rebellion dismissed calls by Sanogo for a cease-fire and continued its latest offensive.[52] 28 March Amadou Toumani Touré said in an interview with French radio station RFI : "I am free and in my country.... The most important thing for me is not my own position. What is important is democracy, institutions and Mali."[53] Several thousand Malians took to the streets in the capital to show their support for the junta and reject "foreign interference" as the Economic Community of West African States said it was putting regional troops on standby for any necessary intervention.[53] A violent clash took place at the Labour Exchange, which was serving as an opposition headquarters; a number of coup opponents were reportedly injured by thrown rocks and then arrested by police.[54] Amnesty International called on the government to investigate the assaults and arrest the perpetrators.[55] The CNRDR announced a new constitution. In one provision, the group pledged that it would not seek office in future elections, and that members of CNRDR would be barred from standing in elections.[56] 29 March The five ECOWAS leaders abandoned their plans to visit Bamako mid-flight after several dozen junta supporters "stormed the airport runway".[57] Their scheduled talks instead took place in Abidjan.[57] ECOWAS announced later in the day that the junta had 72 hours to return power to constitutional authorities, or Mali would face the closure of its land borders and the freezing of its assets in ECOWAS member nations.[58] Anti-Western sentiment was reported to rise in Bamako due to a perception that the U.S. and France were behind the proposed sanctions. A Radio France correspondent was detained by junta officers, handcuffed, and threatened with extrajudicial execution; he was released the following day.[59] 30 March The MNLA announced its capture of the regional capital of Kidal, including a major military base. Sanogo called on Mali's neighbors to provide military aid to "save the civilian population and Mali's territorial integrity".[60] Sanogo responded that he "understands" the ECOWAS position and reiterated his promise to hold elections, but refused to give a timetable.[61] The New York Times reported that civil servants had been unable to resume work due to widespread looting by coup soldiers, including the theft of most government computers and the cash from safes.[54] 31 March Gao, a northern regional capital, was taken by the MNLA and Ansar Dine.[62] BBC News described the loss as "a serious blow to the coup leaders".[63] Representatives of the CNRDR continued negotiations with ECOWAS under the mediation of President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso.[63]

1 April Rebel forces were reported to have encircled Timbuktu, the last major Malian-controlled city of the Azawad.[64] The city was captured later in the day.[65] Meeting one of ECOWAS's demands, Sanogo announced that the CNRDR would reinstate Mali's previous constitution, and begin "to organise free, open and democratic elections in which we will not participate".[65] 2 April After the junta failed to meet the ECOWAS deadline for relinquishing power, "severe" sanctions against Mali began. The nation's account in the Central Bank of West African States was frozen, and Mali's land borders were closed. As Mali imports most of its petroleum (gasoline) from Côte d'Ivoire, this was expected to cause parts of the country to run out of fuel "within days",[66] as well as shutting down the country's gasoline-dependent electric grid.[67] 3 April The UN Security Council began work on a resolution backing the ECOWAS sanctions against the junta.[68] The U.S. and the African Union joined ECOWAS in announcing a travel ban on the coup's leadership.[69] The junta announced that it was considering charging Touré with financial misconduct and treason. Sanogo also stated that a "national meeting" would be held on 5 April to decide "what will be best for the country in a consensual, democratic fashion".[70] Insurgents in Northern Mali looted 2,354 tons of food from World Food Programme warehouses in Gao, Timbuktu, and Kidal causing the organization to suspend food aid to northern Mali.[68] Looting of hospitals, hotels, government offices, and aid offices was reported across the region.[71] Two hundred thousand people had reportedly fled the fighting.[72] 4 April The UN Security Council stated "strong condemnation of the forcible seizure of power from the democratically-elected government" and again called for "the immediate restoration of constitutional rule... and for the preservation of the electoral process."[73] The coalition of Malian parties opposed to the junta refused to participate in Sanogo's proposed "national meeting".[73] 5 April The fifteen nations of West Africa planned a military intervention against the junta and the Tuareg rebels. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that France would help "on a logistical level".[74] An MNLA spokesman announced the end of the group's military operations after the capture of Douentza, which the group considered "the frontier of Azawad".[74] 6 April Main article: Azawad Declaration of Independence The MNLA declared "irrevocably" the independence of Azawad from Mali.[75][76] The African Union and the European Union condemned the declaration, the former declaring it "null and of no value whatsoever".[77][78] Amnesty International described Mali as "on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster" following the coup and rebellion due to aid agency pull-outs, widespread looting, and widespread reports of violence against girls and women in the north.[79] Later in the day, ECOWAS and the coup leaders reached an agreement on a transition of power and lifting of sanctions, under which National Assembly of Mali Speaker Dioncounda Traoré would become interim president and oversee new elections.[80] Under the terms of the agreement, the mutinying soldiers would be given amnesty for their participation in the coup.[81] Aftermath Touré's resignation and later events 8 April Amadou Toumani Touré submitted his formal resignation from the presidency to ECOWAS mediators on 8 April 2012,[81] stating, "More than anything, I do it out of the love I have for my country".[82] Amadou Sanogo resigned shortly after.[9] 9 April Mali's constitutional court met to determine the interim president,[9] announcing that Dioncounda Traoré can assume the presidency for up to 40 days in order to organize elections.[83] 12 April Coup leaders formally handed power to Traoré, and the imprisoned ministers and aides from Touré's administration were released. Following Traoré's inauguration, he pledged to "wage a total and relentless war" on the Tuareg rebels unless they released their control of northern Malian cities.[84] 17 April Mali state television announced that Cheick Modibo Diarra has been appointed interim prime minister to help restore civilian rule.[85] 25 April The new civilian government comprising 24 ministers was announced; three ministers (defence, interior and internal security) were from the military and considered to be close to the coup leaders. Sanogo stated that the junta would continue to play a "supervisory" role in the transition.[86] 29 April ECOWAS announced a deadline of a 12-month transition until presidential and legislative elections, and that soldiers would be deployed to Mali to ensure a peaceful transition. Sanogo stated that his government would reject both decisions.[87] 30 April Following reports that the leaders of the "Red Berets" (presidential guard) would be arrested by the junta, Red Berets assaulted OTRM offices and other locations in Mali in an apparent attempt at a countercoup, exchanging fire with pro-junta soldiers.[88] The fighting lasted through the night and resulted in at least 14 deaths and 40 injuries.[89] The junta seized control of the primary base of anti-junta forces, ending the countercoup.[89] The New York Times described the victory over the countercoup as "a further step in the consolidation of [the junta's] control".[90] 2 May The junta announced that at least 140 Red Berets had been captured following the counter-coup attempt,[91] although later reports put the number at 300, of which 20 died under torture.[92] 15 May ECOWAS released a statement accusing the junta of blocking the return to civilian rule and threatening to reimpose sanctions.[10] 21 May Soldiers allowed a group of pro-coup demonstrators into Traoré's office in Bamako.[93] The demonstrators, who had been carrying a mock coffin with Traoré's name written on it, attacked him, knocking him unconscious. He was

brought to Point G Hospital but was not conscious when he was brought in, apparently suffering from a head injury.[94] Three protesters were killed and others wounded when Traoré's security fired on the attackers.[93] Unity government 20 August - unity government In an effort to restore stability to Mali following the military coup, a new government of national unity was formed on 20 August, and approved by interim president Dioncounda Traoré.[95] Cheick Modibo Diarra, who led the interim government, remained as prime minister. The new cabinet consists of 31 ministers, and 5 of those are viewed as close to the coup leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo.[96] Those who were selected to five posts in the new government were chosen by the military leadership, while at least four members of the previous transitional government, including the interior minister who was responsible for organizing elections, were not changed.[95] None of the selected ministers have close links to the ousted, democratically elected president.[97] 10 December - Diarra arrest and resignation Following weeks in which he lost popular support and the backing of the High Islamic Council,[98] Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra was arrested by soldiers on 10 December and taken to a military base in Kati.[99] BBC News reported that the arrest had been ordered by Capt. Sanogo.[98] According to an eyewitness, soldiers "smashed in the door of the prime minister's residence and took him away a bit violently".[100] Hours later, the Prime Minister announced his resignation and the resignation of his government on national television.[101] A military spokesman, Oumar Mariko, stated that Diarra had been seeking to "stay in power indefinitely", blocking the transition to democracy, and that he would be detained until a new prime minister was appointed by the president.[100] The New York Times has written that the resignation "appeared to be the country’s second coup".[102] Mariko opposed the use of the term, telling reporters, "This is not a new coup d'etat".[103] International reaction In the days following the March coup d'état, it was "unanimously condemned" by the international community.[30] Intergovernmental organisations • United Nations: In New York, a UN spokesperson said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is following the event with 'deep concern' and called for calm and for grievances to be resolved peacefully and within the democratic process. Ban also reaffirmed the UN's support for the constitutional order in the country.[104] The UN Security Council also called for "the release of all detained Malian officials" and the "immediate restoration of constitutional rule and the democratically elected government".[105] • African Union: Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, issued a statement that the AU "strongly condemns this act of rebellion, which seriously undermines constitutional legality and constitutes a significant setback for Mali and for the on-going democratic processes on the continent".[105] • European Union: The European Union condemns the coup and asks for the restoration of the constitutional power as soon as possible. Development operations have also been suspended.[106][107] • Inter-Parliamentary Union: Mali was suspended from the IPU until "democracy is restored".[108] National representatives • Algeria: An Algerian government spokesman stated, "we condemn the use of force and firmly reject any unconstitutional changes... We believe that all internal issues in Mali need to be resolved through the country's legitimate institutions."[109] • Angola: The Foreign Minister of Angola said about the coup: "We are against this kind of power seizure by the force of arms, we think it necessary that they go through the constitution and negotiation path and find a solution that satisfies all parties."[110] • Argentina: The Foreign Minister of Argentina said: "The Argentine government expresses its profound solidarity with the people of Mali" and request "the strict respect for human rights, the immediate restoration of constitutional order and the legitimate continuation of the ongoing electoral process."[111] • Brazil: The Ministry of External Relations stated that it is following the situation in Mali with "deep concern", called for the "immediate restoration of constitutional order and democracy" and urged the parties to exert "moderation, to peaceful dialogue and the rejection of the use of force".[112] • Canada: Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird stated that "differences must be resolved by dialogue and democratic process, not by force" and called for a return to stability before next month's elections.[113] Canada suspended all aid programs involving direct payments to the government of Mali, while stating that Canadian International Development Agency programs in the country will remain active.[114] • France: French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé announced France is suspending diplomatic cooperation with Mali.[115] • Ghana: Ghana "condemned the unwarranted military seizure of power in Mali".[116] • India: India "expresses its deep concern over the recent developments in Mali and calls for respect of the constitutional order and democratic process in that country".[117] • Kenya: Kenyan Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula, who was in Bamako at the time of the coup, said after his escape from the country: "This should be the last time such a coup takes place anywhere in the continent. It is not fair for young excited soldiers to drive democratically elected leaders out of office."[118] • Niger: Niger stated its "total disapproval" of the coup and "condemned all unconstitutional changes".[119]

Nigeria: The Nigerian government said it refused to recognize the "unconstitutional government" in Mali, and strongly condemned the coup.[120] • Norway: Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre condemned the coup against Mali's legally elected government and president and urged the military to return power back to the legal authorities as soon as possible. • People's Republic of China: China "condemned the coup".[121] • Russia: Russia condemned the coup and "demanded that the junta leaders should restore the constitutional order and ensure the return of the democratically elected president to power".[122] • Senegal: Senegal expressed its support of the ECOWAS and AU action against the coup, and called on West African nations to "restore, as quickly as possible, the rule of law in Mali".[123] • South Africa: South Africa condemned the coup and closed its embassy in Bamako.[124] • Uganda: President Yoweri Museveni condemned the coup, calling on Mali's military to return to its barracks and "let the people decide their future".[125] • United Kingdom: Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham said the British government is 'deeply concerned' about reports of a coup attempt and condemns any action to undermine democratic rule and the Malian Constitution.[126] • United States: U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States condemns the military seizure of power and stands with the legitimately elected government of Touré.[127] All U.S. aid to Mali was suspended on 26 March.[47] • Venezuela: Hugo Chávez's government stated "their unconditional solidarity with the people of Mali, while expressing his most resounding rejection of the coup".[128] Other reactions The coup occurred as the head of United Nations Office for West Africa, Said Djinnit, was in the capital for the AU summit and to help mediate the crisis. In response, the World Bank and the African Development Bank suspended development aid funds in support of the AU and ECOWAS reactions to the coup.[105] Amnesty International noted its concern that the coup foreshadowed a "period of uncertainty on human rights", and called on Sanogo's forces to release their political prisoners from detention.[129] Human Rights Watch called on the CNRDR to "restore basic human rights protections" as well as set a firm timeline to return power to a democratically elected government.[130] The multinational corporation Randgold Resources' shares fell 13% following the coup, as it owns three gold mines in Mali. However, it asserted that its mining operations in Loulo and Gounkoto and its joint venture in Morila have no disruptions.[131] Gold Fields suspended operations in the country.[132] • Mali portalList of coups d'état and coup attempts since 2010 See also References 1. ^ Schneider, James (22 March 2012). "Mali's CNRDR: An Accidental Coup?". Think Africa Press. http://thinkafricapress.com/mali/how-cnrdr-took-control. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 2. ^ Adam Nossiter (22 March 2012). "Soldiers Declare Coup in Mali". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/world/africa/mali-coup-france-calls-for-elections.html. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 3. ^ " " (in Arabic). Al Jazeera. 24 March 2012. http://www.aljazeera.net/mob/f6451603-4dff-4ca1-9c10-122741d17432/0e91acee-e346-4bbf-886bc63659df7914. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 4. ^ a b c Serge Daniel (22 March 2012). "Mali president holed up in barracks as junta digs in". The Daily Star. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2012/Mar-22/167613-mali-president-holed-up-in-barracks-asjunta-digs-in.ashx#axzz1psbgU9Mg. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 5. ^ "UN Chief Following Mali Events With Deep Concern". Voice of America. 21 March 2012. http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Mali-Soldiers-Demand-Better-Arms-to-Fight-Rebels143663986.html. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 6. ^ "UPDATE 6-Soldiers say they seize power in Mali". Reuters. 9 February 2009. http://af.reuters.com/article/maliNews/idAFL6E8EM00W20120322?sp=true. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 7. ^ Afua Hirsch (22 March 2012). "Mali rebels claim to have ousted regime in coup". The Guardian (UK). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/22/mali-rebels-coup. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 8. ^ Cheick Dioura and Adama Diarra (31 March 2012). "Mali Rebels Assault Gao, Northern Garrison". Huffington Post. Reuters. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/31/mali-rebels-assault_n_1393415.html. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 9. ^ a b c "Mali court meets to choose interim president". Al Jazeera. 9 April 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/04/20124914524561479.html. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 10. ^ a b "Ecowas threatens Mali coup leaders with new sanctions". BBC News. 14 May 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18065684. Retrieved 16 May 2012.

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Associated Press. Yahoo! News. http://news.yahoo.com/tuareg-rebels-mali-declarecease-fire-malis-neighbours-203014695.html. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 75. ^ "Tuareg rebels declare the independence of Azawad, north of Mali". Al Arabiya. 6 April 2012. http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/04/06/205763.html. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 76. ^ "Mali's Tuareg rebels declare independence". The Hindu. Associated Press (Chennai, India). 6 April 2012. http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3287678.ece. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 77. ^ Felix, Bate (6 April 2012). "Mali rebels declare independent 'Azawad'". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/04/06/uk-mali-idUKBRE83503Y20120406. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 78. ^ Rukmini Callimachi (6 April 2012). "The Associated Press: Mali's Tuareg rebels declare independence". Google. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i701PdJb2rkdYJ90teoUQj2TGFZA?docId=a159a4c20 669423ebd87d7802ffca78c. 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104. ^ "New York, 21 March 2012 – Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Mali". United Nations. 21 March 2012. http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=5936. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 105. ^ a b c "International condemnation for Mali coup". Al Jazeera. 23 March 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/03/2012322234952301942.html. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 106. ^ "Coup d'Etat au Mali: l'évolution de la situation en temps réel" (in French). Radio France Internationale. 16 March 2012. http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/5min/20120322-mali-mutins-bamako-toure-konare-kone-diarra-sanogo. Retrieved 22 March 2012. (French) 107. ^ "EU suspends Mali development aid after coup". Agence France-Presse. 23 March 2012. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gFgnuXClpoH2GkbbDvnwmnd2eIA?docId=CNG.b73629122fe837d11887fc8ac5dcb4bd.1a1. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 108. ^ Gloria Nakiyimba (31 March 2012). "Mali Suspended From International MPs' Body". AllAfrica.com. http://allafrica.com/stories/201203310320.html. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 109. ^ "Algeria voices deep concern over Mali coup". Agence France-Presse. ahram.org. 22 March 2012. http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/37427.aspx. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 110. ^ "Angola: Govt Condemns Coup d'Etat in Mali". allAfrica. 24 March 2012. http://allafrica.com/stories/201203250247.html. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 111. ^ "Cancillería llamó a "la inmediata restauración del legítimo orden constitucional" en Malí". ambito.com. 24 March 2012. http://www.ambito.com/noticia.asp?id=629988. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 112. ^ Sublevação Militar no Mali Ministry of External Relations of Brazil. Retrieved 23 March 2012. (Portuguese). 113. ^ "Baird, Ablonczy React to Mali Coup Attempt". Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. 21 March 2012. http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2012/03/21e.aspx?lang=eng&view=d. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 114. ^ "Canada Suspends Aid to Government of Mali". Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. 24 March 2012. http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2012/03/24a.aspx?lang=eng&view=d. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 115. ^ "France suspends cooperation with Mali after coup – Yahoo! News". Reuters. Yahoo! News. http://news.yahoo.com/france-suspends-cooperation-mali-coup-122737222.html. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 116. ^ "Ghana condemns coup in Mali". ghanaweb.com. 24 March 2012. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=233803. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 117. ^ "India worried over military coup in Mali". firstpost.com. 23 March 2012. http://www.firstpost.com/world/india-worried-over-military-coup-in-mali-254184.html. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 118. ^ Dave Opiyo (25 March 2012). "Wetang’ula rescued from Mali coup hell". The Daily Nation. http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Wetangula+evacuated+as+first+Kenyan+arrives+from+troubled+Mali//1056/1373300/-/me3iehz/-/. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 119. ^ "Niger denounces Mali coup". news24.com. 23 March 2012. http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Nigerdenounces-Mali-coup-20120323. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 120. ^ Victor Iluyemi (22 March 2012). "Nigeria rejects coup in Mali, wants ECOWAS, AU, UN to strongly condemn it". Worldstagegroup.com. http://www.worldstagegroup.com/worldstagenew/index.php?active=news&newscid=4234&catid=3. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 121. ^ "Mali coup leaders face growing criticism". United Press International. 24 March 2012. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/03/24/Mali-coup-leaders-face-growing-criticism/UPI32361332609918/. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 122. ^ Igor Yazon (23 March 2012). "Coup in Mali: situation remains unclear". Voice of Russia. http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_03_23/69399036/. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 123. ^ "Mali coup: Senegal expresses solidarity with ordinary Malian citizens". Afrique en Ligne. 25 March 2012. http://www.afriquejet.com/mali-coup-2012032535614.html. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 124. ^ "South Africa condemns Mali coup". Agence France-Presse. News24. 22 March 2012. http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/South-Africa-condemns-Mali-coup-20120322. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 125. ^ "Ugandan president condemns Mali coup, calls for restoration of people power". Xinhua News Agency. 1 April 2012. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-04/01/c_122916122.htm. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 126. ^ "UK condemns coup attempt in Mali". 22 March 2012. http://www.bnonews.com/inbox/?id=447. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 127. ^ "U.S. State Department statement on the situation in Mali". 22 March 2012. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/03/186633.htm. Retrieved 22 March 2012.

128. ^ "Venezuela rechaza golpe de Estado en Mali y pide respeto a la vida de Toure". Univision. 23 March 2012. http://feeds.univision.com/feeds/article/2012-03-23/venezuela-rechaza-golpe-de-estado. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 129. ^ "Mali: Coup heralds period of uncertainty on human rights". Amnesty International. 23 March 2012. http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/mali-coup-heralds-period-uncertainty-human-rights-2012-03-23. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 130. ^ "Mali: Coup Leaders Must Respect Rights". Human Rights Watch. 23 March 2012. http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/mali-coup-leaders-must-respect-rights. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 131. ^ "Randgold Resources' shares plunge after a coup in Mali". BBC. 22 March 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17475891. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 132. ^ "Gold Fields says committed to Mali despite unrest". Reuters. 26 March 2012. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/26/us-mining-summit-goldfields-mali-idUSBRE82P0RF20120326. Retrieved 26 March 2012.

Azawadi declaration of independence 6 April 2012
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MNLA's adopted flag for their Independent State of Azawad.

Created Location Author(s)

6 April 2012 Gao National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad

Signatories Secretary General Bilal Ag Acherif Purpose Independence of the Azawad from Mali

On 6 April 2012, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (French acronym: MNLA) unilaterally declared Azawad independent from the Republic of Mali in the wake of a rebellion which was preceded by a string of other Tuareg rebellions. It is called the Independent State of Azawad. History Following the return of several hundreds of soldiers after the Libyan civil war in 2011 and the formation of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad,[1] an insurgency commenced on 17 January 2012 with an attack in the Kidal Region, near the border with Algeria. Following the March coup d'état, the rebels made further inroads to capture the three biggest cities of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu in three days, respectively. At this point, other factions joined the fighting, including the Islamist Ansar Dine and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa. Despite reports of Ansar Dine taking control of most of what was initially captured by or with the help of the MNLA, the group established their writ over large swathes of the territory.[2] The Tuareg peoples had also long complained of marginalisation within Mali.[3] Declaration of Independence The Secretary-General of the MNLA, Bilal ag Acherif, signed the declaration in Gao, the site of the largest Malian military outpost in the north, on 6 April, 2012.[4] It was announced by Moussa ag Attaher on France 24.[2] The declaration was issued in French on behalf of the "voice of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad" and in consultation with the Executive Committee, the Revolutionary Council, the Consultative Council, the State-Major of the Army of Liberation and the regional offices.[5] It also cited as reasoning France's unilateral attachment of the region to Mali despite an appeal to French President Charles de Gaulle.[6] The document concluded by adding that the new state declared by the MNLA would recognise international state borders,[2] despite having split the traditional Azawagh over several modern-day states; absolute accordance with the United Nations Charter;[5] and a commitment by the MNLA to establish the "conditions for a durable peace" and create state institutions in accordance with a democratic constitution. Before "irrevocably" acclaiming the Independent State of Azawad, the document called on the Executive Committee, who would run the country in the interim period, to invite the international community to immediately recognise the new state in the interests of "justice and peace".[4]

Reactions The day before the declaration, the Foreign Ministry of Algeria said that an armed faction raided the Algerian consulate in the northeast kidnapping the consul and six staff members. Though Attaher called it "deplorable", he said the MNLA went along with the action in order not to result in deaths. The AFP also quoted a Malian military source as saying that to the best of Malian Army's intelligence "the MNLA is in charge of nothing at the moment... it is Iyad [Ag Ghaly] who is the strongest and he is with AQIM".[2] His Ansar Dine said that it was "against rebellions. We are against independence. We are against revolutions not in the name of Islam."[7] Some of the MLNA's leadership were also said to been surprised by the declaration. Europe-based Hama Ag Sid'Ahmed, one of the spokesmen of the MNLA and the head of external relations, said: "I think it's premature — premature to speak of this right now, without a consultation and an understanding with some of the actors that are very active on the local level, and with which we need to work, and we need to find common objectives, common strategies."[8] Supranational bodies • African Union: The AU rejected the UDI as "null and of no value whatsoever" and appealed to the rest of the world to ignore it.[9] The AU's commission chairperson Jean Ping's office issued a statement that read he "calls on the international community as a whole to fully support this principled position of Africa".[2] • Economic Community of West African States: ECOWAS declared they would "take all necessary measures, including the use of force, to ensure the territorial integrity" of Mali.[10] ECOWAS announced preparations for a 3,000 personnel intervention force to contain the rebels and protect the constitution of Mali.[11] European Union: The spokeswoman for the Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, said that the EU respected Mali's territorial integrity.[12] Richard Zinc, EU representative in Bamako, said that it was "out of question" that the EU would accept the declaration.[13]

• States •

Algeria: Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said Azawad's northern neighbour country would never "accept questioning Mali's territorial integrity". However, he also rejected foreign intervention and called for a solution through dialogue.[14] • Canada: Chris Day, an aide to Foreign Minister John Baird, stated that Canada's position on Azawad's independence: "We’re absolutely not recognising this declaration. We are closely monitoring events on the ground."[15] • France: Defence Minister Gérard Longuet reacted by saying: "A unilateral declaration of independence which is not recognised by African states would not have any meaning for us."[2] Foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said the declaration was "null and void". He affirmed France's commitment to the "territorial integrity of Mali".[12] On the other hand Valero admitted that "the demands of the northern Tuareg population are old and for too long had not received adequate and necessary responses". France, however, also indicated it would offer military assistance to the ECOWAS force aimed at stabilising Mali and containing the rebels.[11] • Russia: In a statement the same day as the declaration, the presidential special envoy to Africa Mikhail Margelov rejected the formation of the state. "There are virtually no chances, this is undoubted, for [the] legitimization of a Tuareg state." "[The Sahelian countries, the ECOWAS, and the AU] do not need it. We stand unequivocally for the territorial integrity and restoration of the constitutional order in Mali."[16] • United States: Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman of the U.S. State Department stated: "We reject the MNLA's statement of independence and reiterate our call for the territorial integrity of Mali."[10] The State Department also later expressed concern that the separation would "only exacerbate the grave problems challenging the Malian state".[17] Academia Alessandra Giuffrida of the African Studies Department at the School of Oriental and African Studies said:[2] [The MNLA] are taking advantage of a new situation, which is the lack of a constitutional government in Bamako, which means the MNLA was able to claim, according to international law, independence, and this is a new fact which has never occurred before in the history of the Tuareg. According to international law experts, this actually gives the Tuareg some ground to fight legally for the independence of their state. [The international reactions reflected that] they have an interest in maintaining the status quo. There is economic interest in the north of the country after the discovery of mineral resources. References 1. ^ Vogl, Martin (31 January 2012). "Tuareg rebels attack 6th town in Mali". Associated Press. Yahoo News. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTuLUMke. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 2. ^ a b c d e f g "Tuaregs claim 'independence' from Mali". Al Jazeera English. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTuUrtbo. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 3. ^ "Mali's Tuareg rebels declare independence". Associated Press. The Guardian. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTuc0TTk. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 4. ^ a b "Déclaration D’Indépendance De L'Azawad" (in French). Mouvement National de libération de l'Azawad. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTul59wU. Retrieved 6 April 2012.

^ a b "Tuareg rebels declare the independence of Azawad, north of Mali". Alarabiya.net. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTuuxrYR. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 6. ^ "Mali rebels declare independence - africa - world". Stuff.co.nz. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTv0A7sK. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 7. ^ "Global powers dismiss Tuaregs’ declared independence". Agence France-Presse. FRANCE 24. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTv88t4H. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 8. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini (6 April 2012). "Mali's Tuareg Rebels Declare Independence". Time. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTvEaFmf. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 9. ^ Felix, Bate (6 April 2012). "Mali rebels declare independent 'Azawad'". Reuters. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTvIiWw5. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 10. ^ a b Fessy, Thomas (3 April 2012). "Mali Tuareg rebels' call on independence rejected". BBC News. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTvTYrWp. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 11. ^ a b Felix, Bate. "AU, US reject Mali rebels' independence declaration". Reuters. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTva7FTG. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 12. ^ a b "Malian Group, EU, France Denounce Independence Proclamation". P.M. News. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTwAId0u. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 13. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini (6 April 2012). "Mali's Tuareg rebels declare independence". The Hindu. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTtyUjh4. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 14. ^ "Algeria rules out Mali split, foreign intervention: Report". Agence France-Presse. english.ahram.org.eg. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTvrYK7p. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 15. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini (6 April 2012). "Mali's coup leader to return power". Associated Press. The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTw0et3P. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 16. ^ "Russia: No Chance to Recognize Azawad Independence". Xinhua. CRI English. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTwCtigt. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 17. ^ Katarina Höije (27 May 2012). "Mali rebel groups join forces, vowing an Islamic state". CNN. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6BTwRWbSQ. Retrieved 17 October 2012. External links • Full original text of declaration (French) 5.

Battle of Gao 26–27 June 2012
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Date Location Result 26–27 June 2012[1] Gao and Timbuktu Decisive Islamist victory • Ansar Dine and MOJWA take over the largest cities of Azawad and the headquarters of the MNLA • Timbuktu World Heritages Site destroyed by Islamists Islamists MOJWA AQIM Ansar Dine

Azawad MNLA

Bilal Ag Asherif (WIA) Colonel Bouna Ag Tahib † Mokhtar Bel Mokhtar Colonel Wari Ag Ibrahim † 140 4–11 killed, 10 wounded, 40 captured
[1][2]

500+ 3–dozens killed, 14 wounded[1][2]

At least 35 killed overall, including 3 Niger fighters, and 41 wounded[1] The Battle of Gao was fought between the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Islamist Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA), along with its ally Ansar Dine, that took place in Gao between 26–27 June 2012.[1] followed the next day, with more fighting. By 28 June 2012, Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, the three biggest cities in the disputed secessionist region of Azawad within what is recognised as Malian territory, were under the control of Ansar Dine and its Islamist allies. Two days later parts of the World Heritage Site of Timbuktu had started to be destroyed, amid condemnation by UNESCO, the OIC Mali and France. This was followed by criticism

within the region and internationally with ECOWAS suggesting it could send an armed intervention force into the country and the ICC following Mali's lead in terming the acts as "war crimes." While MNLA also criticised the Islamists for holding civilians and destroying the structures, Ansar Dine said that the destruction was due to violation of sharia and in reaction to UNESCO's labeling of the sites of Timbuktu and in Gao as "in danger." Background Following previous Tuareg rebellions and the Libyan civil war, in early 2012 the MNLA and Islamist movements captured northern Mali. Tensions then started between the MNLA and Islamist movements over the use of the sharia within the territory. Clashes started to erupt between both sides after a merge attempt failed,[3] despite the signing of an accord to share power.[4] On 25 June, the Islamist Ansar Dine took control of Kidal.[5] Protests broke out on 26 June in the city of Gao, the majority of whose people are not Tuaregs (as opposed to the MNLA), but rather sub-Saharan groups such as the Songhay and Fula peoples. The protestors opposed the Tuareg rebels and the partition of Mali. Two were killed as a result of the protests, allegedly by MNLA troops.[6] The protesters used both Malian and Islamist flags, and France 24 reported that many locals supported the Islamists as a result of their opposition to the Tuareg nationalists and the secession of Azawad.[7] Battle Fighting began in the morning of 26 June, with both sides firing heavy weapons. MNLA Secretary General Bilal ag Acherif was wounded in the attack. After being extricated from the fighting, he was later taken to a hospital in Burkina Faso's capital city of Ouagadougou; while Colonel Bouna Ag Tahib, a defector from the Malian army, was killed. MOJWA soon took control of the Gao governor's palace as well as Ag Acherif's residence. A MOJWA spokesman stated that 40 MNLA troops had been taken prisoner.[8][9] The MNLA's Azawad Vice President Mahamadou Djeri Maïga acknowledged that they lost control of the city but said that the fight would continue. He asked for international help against Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, who he stated was responsible for the attack.[9] The next day the MNLA were evicted from the city.[10] Two videos seen by the AFP showed the black flag of jihad groups and some members of the group saying "Long Live Mali" and singing the national anthem of Mali, respectively.[1] Algeria's Ennahar TV reported that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a founding member of AQIM, was probably killed during the battle.[11] A previous death toll of 20 was later revised by doctors who added the number of dead found in the Niger River and the wounded who succumbed to their injuries.[12] Thirty more Algerian fighters were said to have arrived in the city on 29 June to support AQIM and its leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar as the latter seeks to maintain a hold on the town and track MNLA fighters.[13] Reactions Ansar Dine's Chief of Security for Gao, Omar Ould Hamaha, said that the group controls the region and would impose sharia. Our fighters control the perimeter. We control Timbuktu completely. We control Gao completely. It's Ansar Dine that commands the north of Mali. Now we have every opportunity to apply sharia. Sharia does not require a majority vote. It's not democracy. It's the divine law that was set out by God to be followed by his slaves. One hundred percent of the north of Mali is Muslim, and even if they don't want this, they need to go along with it. Paris-based MNLA spokesman, Moussa Ag Assarid, said that though the group had lost ground in the big cities "we control 90% of the Azawad."[14] On 26 June 2012[15] the Tomb of Askia, which had been listed as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site,[16] was named by UNESCO as "endangered" at the behest of Mali amid fears of[17] damage to "important ancient manuscripts" from being "looted and smuggled abroad by unscrupulous dealers."[18] Two days later, the same was done for Timbuktu.[19] A statement by the World Heritage Committee also read that it "asked Mali's neighbours to do all in their power to prevent the trafficking in cultural objects from these sites."[20] ECOWAS then met on 29 June in the Ivorian capital of Yamoussoukro in order to work towards "additional measures to prevent matters in Mali becoming bogged down," according to host President Alassane Ouattara. The meeting was also attended by the mediator for the Malian crisis following the 2012 Malian coup d'etat, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou and Malian interim Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra. While the group was expected to call for negotiations with movements in the Azawad region, it was also expected to continue with plans to get a 3,300 personnel intervention force together to invade the region.[13] Aftermath By 2 July, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, along with its allies, were reported to have mined the periphery of the city. The MNLA spokesman, Mossa Ag Attaher, said that AQIM was "using the population as hostages, as a human shield to protect itself from an MNLA counter-attack...Many people are trying to escape, to take the bus to go to Bamako, but the Islamists are stopping them."[21] On 3 July, MOJWA released 25 MNLA prisoners who had been captured during the battle to show that "they were for the peace," after being asked to do so by Iyag Ag Ghaly. At the same time, Guinean President Alpha Condé said that an ECOWAS military intervention would be directed against the Islamists and not the MNLA.[22] Capture of Timbuktu The next day, Ansar Dine was reported to have taken control of Timbuktu after MNLA fighters followed their deadline to leave town. Residents confirmed the MNLA was no longer present,[23] as the Islamist movements confirmed their control over the entire northern Malian region of Azawad.[10][24] Destruction of shrines At the same time, UNESCO responded to appeals from the Malian government in Bamako to declare several sites within the city as "endangered"[5] because it "aims to raise cooperation and support for the sites threatened by the armed

conflict in the region."[25] On 30 June 2012, a local journalist said that he was told Ansar Dine would start destroying 13 more Sufi cemeteries and mausolea of saints after having destroyed three, including the mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar.[26] They were then said to have destroyed the mausolea of Sidi El Mokhtar, Alfa Moya and five other sites with pick-axes, hoes and Kalashnikovs.[20] Despite earlier claims that they had stopped taking down the tombs,[20] on 1 July about 30 members of the group[27] were reported to have continued taking down four more sites with hoes and chisels at the cemetery of Djinguereber Mosque, including that of Cheikh el-Kebir,[28] Sidi Elmety, Mahamane Elmety[27] and Sidi Mahmoudou[28] by late afternoon.[29] Ansar Dine's Omar Ould Hamaha said that "the only tribunal we recognise is the divine court of shariah. The destruction is a divine order. It's our prophet who said that each time that someone builds something on top of a grave, it needs to be pulled back to the ground. We need to do this so that future generations don't get confused, and start venerating the saints as if they are God...We are against tourism. They foster debauchery."[28] On 2 July there were more destructions, most notably at Sidi Yahya's mausoleum, one of the three "great" mosques in the city built in the 1500s during the Islamic Golden Age, according to UNESCO.[30] The militants broke down the door to the shrine, which, according to a local imam, was not supposed to be opened until the end of days. Sanda Ould Bamana then told the BBC that Ansar Dine had done almost 90% of what it sought to in destroying the mausolea in accordance with sharia, which he said does not permit tombs to be taller than 15 centimetres.[31] Local imam, Alpha Abdoulahi, said that the militants wanted to "destroy the mystery" of the gateway and that he was offered "50,000 CFA for repairs but I refused to take the money, saying that what they did is irreparable."[32] Further destruction occurred, with four mausoleums being razed on 23 December 2012, and a leader of Ansar Dine, Abou Dardar, being quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying that "Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu"[33] Reactions The MNLA's spokesman Hama Ag Mahmoud, speaking from Nouakchott, said of the destructions that "the perpetrators of these heinous acts, their sponsors, and those who support them must be made accountable."[34] On the 12 July, the MNLA released a statement that read "we call on the USA, France and all other countries who want to stand against Ansar Dine, Boko Haram and al Qaeda who are now holding Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal to help us kill them and help the people in those cities."[35] The MNLA and Tuareg refugees claimed, in interviews with the Western media, that Islamists had only previously bested the MNLA, despite their boasts of the MNLA having more fighters,[36] because of superior firepower and the presence of foreign Islamist groups, like AQIM.[37] An MNLA official in Nouakchott later clarified that they would only fight to remove the Islamists if "we are not the ones to fight the terrorists all alone...it is important that the outside powers help us, to even up the balance of power."[36] Timbuktu Deputy Mayor Sandy Haidara said of the actions that "it looks as if it is a direct reaction to the UNESCO decision." Ansar Dine's spokesman Sanda Ould Boumama then said that the group "will today destroy every mausoleum in the city. All of them, without exception. God is unique. All of this is haram. We are all Muslims. UNESCO is what?" [We are acting] in the name of God." UNESCO's Executive Committee Chair Alissandra Cummins said that "this is tragic news for us all. I appeal to all those engaged in the conflict in Timbuktu to exercise their responsibility."[38] UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova called for a stop to the destructions, shortly before the announcement that Ansar Dine had ceased the destructions, according to a local journalist.[20] Haidara's assessment was echoed by the media, which read the action as reacting to UNESCO's decision to put the sites on the endangered list.[19][39] The chairwoman of UNESCO's 36th session, Yeleonor Mitrofanova, told the World Heritage Committee meeting in Saint Petersburg that she "appealed to all those engaged in the conflict in Timbuktu to exercise their responsibility -- for the sake of future generations, spare the legacy of their past"[28] A source reported to be affiliated to a local imam was quoted as saying that Ansar Dine had "raped Timbuktu today. It is a crime."[40] United Nations Representative for West Africa Said Djinnit said that the events "confirm the hold that terrorist groups have on Mali’s north, which worsens the humanitarian position of local people."[13] United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky quoted Moon as saying: "Such attacks against cultural heritage sites are totally unjustified," while adding that "the secretary-general calls on all parties to exercise their responsibility to preserve the cultural heritage of Mali." The International Criminal Court's Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda warned "those involved in these criminal acts is clear: stop the destruction of the religious buildings now. This is a war crime which my office has authority to fully investigate." She cited Mali's accession to Article 8 of the Rome Statute that says any "deliberate attacks against undefended civilian buildings which are not military objectives are a war crime."[29] The sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly also expressed concern about the regions UNESCO sites to the Director General[who?] of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the President[who?] of the African Union Commission and the Chair[who?] of ECOWAS.[41] The Organisation of the Islamic Conference issued a statement that read the sites were "part of the rich Islamic heritage of Mali and should not be allowed to be destroyed and put in harm's way by bigoted extremist elements."[42] ECOWAS also issued a statement after a meeting in Ouagadougou that read: "They are asking the International Criminal Court to proceed with necessary investigations to identify those responsible for war crimes and to take the necessary action against them." [sic] It also called on Mali to ask the UN to support a military intervention against the groups in Azawad.[43] The Malian government called the actions "destructive fury,"[44] "war crimes"[1] and threatened action through Malian and international channels.[40] Mali's Foreign Minister Sadio Lamine Sow said from Algiers that Mali would "do everything to recover our territory;"[21] while the Culture and Tourism Minister Diallo Fadima Touré called on the UN on 1 July, to "take concrete steps to stop these crimes against the cultural heritage of my people."[28] Protesters in Bamako rallied against the Islamist takeover on 4 July.[45] France's

Communications Director and Chief Spokesperson at the Central Administration Bernard Valero[46] said: "France condemns the deliberate destruction of the tombs of Muslim saints in the city of Timbuktu by an Islamist extremist group which controls this city. We appeal for an end to this violence and this intolerance. The systematic violation of these places of reverence and prayer, which for centuries have been part of the soul of this famed sub-Saharan city, constitutes an intolerable act."[47] The Russia Foreign Ministery condemned the action as "barbarian. Such acts can only arouse indignation." The United States' State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland also added that "the United States strongly condemns the destruction of the UNESCO world heritage sites in Timbuktu by Islamic militants. We call on all parties to protect Mali's heritage."[21] Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba said at the General debate of the sixty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly that he rejected the attempt to secede, as well as the wanton destructions of the sites.[48] Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra also called for an immediate international intervention to restore Bamako's writ;[49] he was supported by Niger.[50] It was also affirmed at the same forum by Ivory Coast, who had a similar external intervention during the Ivorian political crisis,[51] and former imperial overlord France's Francois Hollande who supported an African intervention.[52] The head of the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project at the University of Cape Town Shamil Jeppie said that the destruction was akin to that of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. "It's a real loss for people in the town, in the region and on the continent. Timbuktu was a center of Islamic learning, a very significant center — there is lots of internal and external evidence of this. But Ansar Dine is ignorant of this. For them, there is only one book and it's the Quran. All this other (Islamic) learning is inconsequential to them." The Chairman of the Malian Manuscript Foundation Michael Covitt, said from New York that the action led to "generations and generations of culture being destroyed."[28] Voice of America reported that people in the city say the actions of Ansar Dine as unrelated to Islamic thought and teachings, but instead targeted at avenging the threats of the "international community" and the Western world-led War on Terror. Timbuktu MP in the National Assembly of Mali, Haïdara El Hadji Baba, said that "Ansar Dine’s real motivation in doing this was to defy the international community;” he cited the destructions as emanating after UNESCO's classification of the shrines as "in danger." He further warned that after Bensouda told the French media on 1 July that the actions could be called war crimes there could be more to come. "With its condemnations the international community is only intensifying Ansar Dine's desire to destroy." UNESCO's World Heritage Centre's Africa head, Lazare Eloundou Assomo, refused responsibility for the action in saying that it was "normal" for supranational bodies to denounce the destruction of what she termed "world heritage." She added: "Would you have UNESCO remain silent about this? No. It’s crucial that we declare that these sites are important to the entire world and it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect them."[53] While Reuters was similarly critical of the move, it also cited Ansar Dine's Sanda Ould Boumama speaking to Radio France Internationale saying that "human beings cannot be elevated higher than God ... When the Prophet entered Mecca, he said that all the mausoleums should be destroyed. And that's what we're repeating."[54] See also • Buddhas of Bamiyan, a World Heritage Site in Afghanistan that was destroyed by the Taliban.[27][28][29] • Aftermath of the Libyan civil war, in which similar destruction of Sufi sites took place.[27][32] References 1. ^ a b c d e f g "Mali: au moins 35 morts dans les affrontements islamistes/Touareg à Gao" (in French). Agence France-Presse. Google News. 30 June 2012. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jd17HpOQd9fm43sEXIKYc2OkwIQ?docId=CNG.d0196da202fadb24721b10ebdc7572ae.b61. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 2. ^ a b Islamists seize north Mali town, at least 21 dead in clashes 3. ^ "Mali: Islamists seize Gao from Tuareg rebels". BBC News. 27 June 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18610618. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 4. ^ "Mali Tuareg and Islamist rebels agree on Sharia state". BBC News. 26 May 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18224004. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 5. ^ a b "Tuareg rebels driven out of Timbuktu". 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32. ^ a b Reuters in Bamako. "Ancient Timbuktu mosque attacked by Islamists". Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/02/ancient-timbuktu-mosque-attacked-islamists?newsfeed=true. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 33. ^ "Timbuktu mausoleums 'destroyed'". BBC. 23 December 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa20833010. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 34. ^ "Defiant Mali Islamists pursue wrecking of Timbuktu". Swissinfo.ch. 2 July 2012. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Defiant_Mali_Islamists_pursue_wrecking_of_Timbuktu.html? cid=33028976. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 35. ^ "Mali separatists ready to act over destruction of tombs". CNN. 12 July 2012. http://m.cnn.com/primary/cnnd_fullarticle?topic=newsarticle&category=cnnd_world_africa&articleId=urn:ne wsml:CNN.com:20120701:mali-shrine-attack:1&cookieFlag=COOKIE_SET. 36. ^ a b Adam Nossiter (15 July 2012). "As Refugees Flee Islamists in Mali, Solutions Are Elusive". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/world/africa/local-militia-bolsters-islamist-militants-inmali.html?ref=africa&gwh=3C22C5C2725D250CF5904B82AECD6B84. 37. ^ Adam Nossiter (17 July 2012). "Jihadists’ Fierce Justice Drives Thousands to Flee Mali". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/world/africa/jidhadists-fierce-justice-drives-thousands-to-fleemali.html?pagewanted=1&gwh=DDA9EFF1FF628E413C2991ECA4B580A5&ref=world. 38. ^ "Ansar Dine fighters destroy Timbuktu shrines". Al Jazeera. 30 June 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/06/2012630101748795606.html. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 39. ^ "Timbuktu destruction payback for 'idolatry'". The Australian. Agence France-Presse. 2 July 2012. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/timbuktu-destruction-payback-for-idolatry/story-e6frg6so1226413821453. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 40. ^ a b "Timbuktu's tombs destroyed by militants". Sydney Morning Herald. Agence France-Presse. 1 July 2012. http://www.smh.com.au/world/timbuktus-tombs-destroyed-by-militants-2012070121agg.html#ixzz1zMTGOHR4. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 41. ^ http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/67/219 42. ^ "Timbuktu's Sidi Yahia mosque 'attacked by Mali militants'". BBC News. 1970-01-01. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18675539. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 43. ^ "ECOWAS call on ICC over 'war crimes' in Mali". Al Jazeera English. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/07/201277194319595934.html. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 44. ^ "Mausolées de Tombouctou démolis: Bamako dénonce une furie destructrice" (in French). Agence FrancePresse. Maliweb.net. 30 June 2012. http://www.maliweb.net/news/gouvernement/2012/06/30/article,76690.html. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 45. ^ "Mali protests rebel occupation of north". Al Jazeera. 5 July 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/07/20127533425563880.html. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 46. ^ "Speakers- International Forum". Reims Management School. 24–25 January 2011. http://www.reimsms.fr/en/sre/forums/internationalforum/speakers.html. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 47. ^ "France condemns Islamists' destruction of Mali shrines". Expatica. 30 June 2012. http://www.expatica.com/fr/news/french-news/france-condemns-islamists--destruction-of-malishrines_236185.html. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 48. ^ http://gadebate.un.org/25sep/am/na.shtml 49. ^ http://gadebate.un.org/67/mali 50. ^ http://gadebate.un.org/67/niger 51. ^ http://gadebate.un.org/67/c%C3%B4te-d%E2%80%99ivoire 52. ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/09/201292755022310928.html 53. ^ Nancy Palus (3 July 2012). "Timbuktu Residents Reject Islamists' Reason for Destroying Shrines". Voice of America. http://www.voanews.com/content/un-moves-to-protect-historic-sites-attacked-in-mali/1360844.html. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 54. ^ Fletcher, Pascal (3 July 2012). "Timbuktu tomb destroyers pulverise Islam's history". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/03/uk-mali-crisis-timbuktu-idUSLNE86202G20120703. Retrieved 6 July 2012.

Battle of Konna 10-12 January 2013
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Date Location Result Mali Unknown 11-36 killed, 60 wounded[2][3] 1 killed 10-12 January 2013 Konna, Mali Malian/French victory • Islamist capture Konna, but the Army recaptures it, little over a day later France Islamists MOJWA AQIM Ansar Dine 1,200 fighters[1] 46-100+ killed[4]

10 civilians killed[5] Total: 149 killed overall[3][2] The Battle of Konna, was fought between government forces of Mali and the Islamist Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA). On 10 January 2013, the Islamists captured the town, after fierce fighting with Malian forces. With French help, on 12 January, Mali successfully recaptured the town, leaving dozens of soldiers and a hundred Islamist fighters dead.[3] Battle On 10 January 2013, Islamist forces captured the strategic town of Konna, previously held by the Malian army. After several hours of fighting the Malian army retreated, abandoning the town to the rebels and reportedly leaving several heavy weapons and armored vehicles.[6] An estimated 1,200 Islamist fighters advanced to within 20 kilometers of Mopti, a Mali military garrison town. The French saw this, as the first step for the militants taking over the south, so they launched an offensive with the Malian government to retake the town.[1] On 11 January, French Gazelle helicopters from the Special forces stopped an Islamist column advancing to Mopti. Four Mirage 2000-D jets operating from a base in Chad also conducted airstrikes. 12 targets were hit by the Mirages during the night between the 11th and the 12th. The French chief of army staff, Amiral Guillaud, announced that the Islamists had withdrawn from Konna and retreated several dozen of kilometres into the north.[7] The air strikes reportedly destroyed half a dozen Islamist armed pick-up trucks[8] and a rebel command center. One French pilot was killed after his attack helicopter was downed by ground fire during the operation.[9] That night, the Malian army, backed by French troops, took back control of Konna.[10] The Malian army announced they took full control of Konna and that over 100 Islamists were killed. AFP witnesses had seen dozens of Islamist corpses around Konna, with one saying he counted 46 bodies.[4][11] The French stated four rebel vehicles were hit by their airstrikes,[12] while the Mali Army claimed nearly 30 vehicles were bombed. Several dozens of Malian soldiers[3] and 10 civilians were also killed. A resident of Gao, the headquarters of the MUJAO, said that the city's hospital had been overwhelmed with dead and wounded.[13] In all, one local residented counted 148 bodies around Konna.[3] A Malian lieutenant said that mopping up operations were taking places around Konna. French special forces were also reported to be on the ground. According to analysts, the French were forced to act sooner than planned because of the importance of Sévaré military airport for further operations.[14] References 1. ^ a b "France begins Mali military intervention". Al Jazeera. 11 January 2013. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/01/2013111135659836345.html. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 2. ^ a b France bombs Mali rebels, African states ready troops 3. ^ a b c d e Over 100 dead in French strikes and fighting in Mali 4. ^ a b "French Gunships Stop Mali Islamist Advance". AFP. 12 January 2013. http://www.chillnews.net/worldnews/french-gunships-stop-mali-islamist-advance/8891. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 5. ^ [http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/12/us-mali-rebels-idUSBRE90912Q20130112 France bombs Mali rebels, African states ready troops] 6. ^ "Mali Islamists capture strategic town, residents flee". Reuters. 10 January 2013. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/10/us-mali-rebels-idUSBRE90912Q20130110. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 7. ^ http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2013/01/12/mali-apres-la-mort-rapide-d-un-officier-l-operationmilitaire-s-annonce-tres-dure_1816237_3212.html 8. ^ French army says no current plan to target northern Mali 9. ^ French airstrikes destroy Mali rebel command center 10. ^ "Malian army retakes central town from Islamists". Reuters.com. 26 December 2012. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/11/us-mali-rebels-konna-idUSBRE90A14E20130111. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 11. ^ Mali: Hollande réunit son conseil de Défense à l'Elysée

12. ^ Gazelle Downed in French Air Raid, Soldier Killed 13. ^ France bombs Mali rebels, African states ready troops 14. ^ Irish, John. "Malian army beats back Islamist rebels with French help". Reuters.com. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/11/us-mali-rebels-idUSBRE90912Q20130111. Retrieved 12 January 2013.

Opération Serval 11 January 2013 - ongoing
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Date Location Result France Édouard Guillaud 11 January 2013 - ongoing Mali Ongoing Islamists MOJWA AQIM Ansar Dine Iyad ag Ghali[1]

Elements of: 1er REC an Armored Cavalry platoon 2e RIMa 1,200 fighters[2] one company 21e RIMa one company 4e RHFS 1 killed[3] 1 helicopter lost[4] 46-100 killed[3] 4 vehicles destroyed[4] Opération Serval is an ongoing French military operation in Mali.[5] The aim of the operation is to stop and ultimately defeat an aggressive Islamic militant rebellion in the north of Mali,[6] which had begun a push into the center of Mali.[7] The operation is named after the medium-sized African wild cat species Serval. Background In January 2012, following an influx of weapons that occurred after the Libyan civil war, Tuareg tribesmen of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) began a rebellion against Mali's central government.[8] In April, the NMLA said it had accomplished its goals and called off its offensive against the government, proclaiming the independence of Azawad.[9] In June 2012, however, the MNLA came into conflict with the Islamist groups Ansar Dine and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa after the Islamist began imposing Sharia in Azawad.[10] By 17 July, MOJWA and Ansar Dine had pushed the MNLA out of all the major cities.[11] Forces Currently the French Air Force is deploying two Mirage F1 CR Reconnaissance from the 1/33 "Belfort" Reconnaissance Squadron and six Mirage 2000D fighter jets, which are part of the French military Opération Épervier in the neighboring country of Chad. Additionally the Air Force deployed three KC-135 Stratotanker planes, as well as one C-130 Hercules and one Transall C-160 transport planes.[12] French ground forces deployed by 12 January include one company of the 21st Marine Infantry Regiment, an Armored Cavalry platoon of the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment and one company of the 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment.[13] Rafale fighter jets of the Régiment de chasse 2/30 Normandie-Niemen are prepared for deployment; as well as two companies of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment. Operations The operation began on 11 January 2013 with French Army Aviation Gazelle helicopters armed with 20 mm cannons from the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment attacking a rebel column near Sévaré. French forces suffered one casualty when a Gazelle attack helicopter came under small arms fire and one of the two pilots was hit. The pilot later died of his injuries. The other pilot managed to fly the helicopter back to base, but the aircraft was written off as lost due to the damage sustained.[14][15] By 12 January hundreds of French troops were involved in the military operation in Mali.[16] With their help the Malian army retook Konna, which it had lost a few days earlier.[17] France has asked the U.S. to speed up its contribution by sending drones to improve surveillance over the vast area of northern Mali. The Pentagon is reported to be studying the French request.[18] Meanwhile the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announced that his country would lend logistical support to the operation.[19] See also Northern Mali conflict (2012–present)#French intervention References 1. ^ Daniel, Serge. "Mali's isolated junta seeks help to stop Tuareg juggernaut". Modern Ghana.com. http://www.modernghana.com/news/386487//malis-isolated-junta-seeks-help-to-stop-tuareg-jug.html. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 2. ^ "France begins Mali military intervention". Al Jazeera. 11 January 2013. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/01/2013111135659836345.html. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 3. ^ a b "French Gunships Stop Mali Islamist Advance". AFP. 12 January 2013. http://www.chillnews.net/worldnews/french-gunships-stop-mali-islamist-advance/8891. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 4. ^ a b Gazelle Downed in French Air Raid, Soldier Killed

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

^ Mali - la France a mené une série de raids contre les islamistes Le Monde.fr 12.01.2013, retrieved on 12.01.2013 14.45 ^ Mali and France 'push back Islamists', the BBC, News Africa 12 January 2013 Last updated at 01:04 GMT , retrieved 12.01.2013 14.53 ^ Battling Islamists in Mali NYT,Published: January 11, 2013, retrieved on 12.01.2013 14.38 ^ "Mali Besieged by Fighters Fleeing Libya". Stratfor. http://stratfor.com/weekly/mali-besieged-fightersfleeing-libya. Retrieved 22 March 2012. ^ "Tuareg rebels declare the independence of Azawad, north of Mali". Al Arabiya. 6 April 2012. http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/04/06/205763.html. Retrieved 6 April 2012. ^ Serge Daniel (27 June 2012). "Islamists seize north Mali town, at least 21 dead in clashes". Agence FrancePresse. Google News. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hBFw8aQMUwyILkE0faoge_v3a2Tw?docId=CNG.5 a399b35f2fd7797cbca9a2f17c8ca72.5a1. Retrieved 27 June 2012. ^ Adam Nossiter (18 July 2012). "Jihadists' Fierce Justice Drives Thousands to Flee Mali". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 November 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/world/africa/jidhadists-fierce-justice-drives-thousands-to-fleemali.html?pagewanted=all. Retrieved 23 November 2012. ^ Mali : lancement de l’opération Serval, Ministère de la Défense ^ Mali : lancement de l’opération Serval, Ministère de la Défense ^ Par Nathalie Guibert. "Mali: après la mort rapide d'un officier, l'opération militaire s'annonce compliquée" (in French). Le Monde.fr. http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2013/01/12/mali-apres-la-mort-rapide-d-unofficier-l-operation-militaire-s-annonce-tres-dure_1816237_3212.html. Retrieved 13 January 2013. ^ Merchet, Jean-Dominique. "Mali: le premier mort français de l'opération Serval" (in French). Marianne.net. http://www.marianne.net/blogsecretdefense/Mali-le-premier-mort-francais-de-l-operation-Serval_a912.html. Retrieved 13 January 2013. ^ French troops continue operation against Mali Islamists, BBC News Africa, 12 January 2013 Last updated at 12:24 GMT, retrieved on 12.01.2012 15:02 ^ Vasudevan Sridharan (12 January 2012). "France's Airstrike Helps Mali Army to Recapture Konna". International Business Times. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/423409/20130112/mali-konna-captureislamist-rebels-france-airstrike.htm. ^ NYT, French Airstrikes in Mali Deter Islamist Rebels, Published: January 12, 2013, retrieved on 12.02.2013 22.35 ^ "UK troops to assist Mali operation to halt rebel advance". BBC. 12 January 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20999533. Retrieved 13 January 2013.

This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia's deletion policy. Please share your thoughts on the matter at this article's entry on the Articles for deletion page. Feel free to edit the article, but the article must not be blanked, and this notice must not be removed, until the discussion is closed. For more information, particularly on merging or moving the article during the discussion, read the Guide to deletion. This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses. (January 2013)

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