Monday, June 11, 2012
Tuareg rebels announce ruling council while differences still exist with Islamic radical alllies
During and after the recent military coup in Mali Tuareg rebels in the north drove out the central government forces joined by Islam rebels from mountain areas who are called Anser Dine. The Tuareg rebels are called the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad.
Azawad is an area that covers parts of several countries but the Tuareg have declared an independent state in the Mali portion. They have now named a council which will be responsible for defense, security and education. They will also deal with foreign policy and land management. No country has recognized the area as independent. The Mali coup leaders overthrew the elected president on the ground that he had not worked hard enough to drive out the rebels. It is most likely that once politics is sorted out in the south that the army will again move north.
Since Anser Dine are radical Islamists who are claimed to have links to Al Qaeda the U.S which already has a few special forces in Mali will be anxious to help retake the north.
The Tuareg rebels in the NMLA want a secular state. Some come from Libya where they fought for Gadaffi. Of course Gadaffi suppressed Islamic militants. Although the two groups announced a merger the NMLA says the agreement is now under review. Anser Dine was the north to be an Islamic state under Sharia law. In spite of their radical differences the two groups will no doubt try their best to form a common front to resist any government attempts to retake territory. For much more see this article and even more depth here.