Friday, June 29, 2012

Mali: Islamic rebels driving out Tuareg in north



An alliance between Tuaraeg rebels who set up the state of Azawad in northern Mali and Ansar Dine an Islamic rebel group has broken down with the Ansar Dine taking over Timbuktu and apparently some other towns in the north.

Ansar Dine is said to be linked to Al Qaeda. In the town of Gao there was also a fight between Tuareg and Ansar Dine with 20 being killed and Ansar Dine taking over the town. These developments will make it virtually certain that there will be military intervention and further bloodshed in the north as Malian troops bolstered by other African troops from ECOWAS will try to retake the territory.

No officials from Ansar Dine or the Tuareg could be reached to confirm these actions. UNESCO is worried about World Hertiage sites in Timbuktu since the Ansar Dine may very well vandaliz them . From the video at this site it would seem this has already happened to some extent. The Ansar Dine impose Sharia law wherever they go.

Key cities in northern Mali were seized by the Tuareg earlier in March but then Islamist fighters appeared from the mountains. The Tuareg was a secular state while the Islamist want an Islamist state with Islamic law. Some Tuareg came from Libya where they had fought for Gadaffi and were well armed. It is not clear where the Islamists manage to get all their firepower and who finances them. For more see this article.

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