Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mali: Tuareg rebels threaten northern city

  Tuareg rebels have taken up positions near the city of  Kidal in northern Mali. The Tuareg are a nomadic group who inhabit regions in several countries. The entire region is called by them the Azawad. They have been rebelling for almost a century! See this article for their most recent actions.
    Many of the Tuareg were active in Gadaffi's Libyan armed forces. With the defeat of Gadaffi many have migrated back into the Azawad regions. Some say they have brought with them many weapons. In Mali the rebellion was ended in 2009 but relations between the group and the central government have remained strained.
     Security forces recently in Kidal stopped protests against the arrest of two female members of the Tuareg. The rebels have attacked six towns in the region of late. A rebel spokesperson said  that their strategy was to begin with small towns but that they had the capacity to take larger towns. He said:“Like all the other major towns in the north, Kidal is one of the towns we intend to take over,”“Our strategy has been to attack smaller towns with major military bases first so later we don’t have to worry about attacks coming from many directions." Obviously these clashes could evolve into a major civil war in the north of Mali. For more see this article.
   

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