Mali: Tuareg rebels declare end to ceasefire

Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) announced Nov. 29 that they are ending their ceasefire with the Malian government, which has held since June. The statement comes a day after clashes between Malian troops and Tuareg protesters who prevented a visit by Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly to the rebel-held town of Kidal. The central government said soldiers at the airport had been attacked with stones and gunfire by “uncontrollable elements,” and had fired warning shots. But the MNLA said troops had fired directly at a crowd that included women and children, leaving several wounded. MNLA vice president Mahamadou Djeri Maiga told the AFP: “What happened is a declaration of war. We will deliver this war. Wherever we find the Malian army we will launch the assault against them. It will be automatic. The warnings are over.” (BBC News, Nov. 29)

Meanwhile, Malian officials speaking anonymously told AP that more than a dozen ethnic Peul (Fulani) are feared dead following clashes with local Tuareg  near the border with Niger Nov. 24. Florent Geel, Africa director for the International Federation for Human Rights, said 16 were killed, but added that the organization was waiting on details. He spoke by phone from Bamako, citing information provided by a member in Gao. Reports of the deaths came as Malians voted in legislative elections meant to complete the transition to constitutional rule following the March 2012 coup. (AP, Nov. 24)

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  1. Mali: state ‘at war’ with Tuareg rebels

    Clashes in Mali's the rebel-controlled northern city of Kidal left 36 dead over the weekend, as fighting broke out between the army and MNLA during a visit by during a visit by Prime Minister Moussa Mara. After the fighting, Mara said: "The terrorists have declared war on Mali, so Mali is at war against these terrorists. We will mobilize the resources to fight this war." (BBC News, AFP)

  2. Back from the brink in struggle for Kidal?

    On May 21, MNLA rebels boasted that they had defeated government forces in heavy fighting for control of Kidal. Two days later, they agreed to a new ceasefire. African Union chairman Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz, the president of Mauritania, flew to Kidal to meet with rebel leaders. (BBC News, May 23; BBC News, May 21)