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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