Mali Rebels Declare End of Military Operations in North

Mali's junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo speaks during a new news conference at his headquarters in Kati, April 3, 2012.
Mali's junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo speaks during a new news conference at his headquarters in Kati, April 3, 2012.

Tuareg rebels in northern Mali who seized three towns in a fast-moving offensive have declared an end to military operations.

Mali's recent political developments:

  • 2002: Amadou Toumani Toure elected president; re-elected '07.
  • 2007-2009: Tuareg fighters battle for autonomy; rebellion ended by '09 agreement.
  • January 2012: Well-armed ethnic Tuareg fighters, recently returned from Libya, begin renewed rebellion in north.
  • February 2012: Soldiers' families protest against Toure's handling of rebellion.
  • March 21: Soldiers launch mutiny outside capital, Bamako; later storm state TV station, presidential palace.
  • March 22: Soldiers declare coup on state TV, suspend constitution; president goes into hiding; France, US, UN, AU demand return to civilian rule.
  • March 24: Tuaregs renew offensive against towns, Malian army bases.
  • March 30-April 1: Rebels seize northern towns of Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu; Junta leader Amadou Sanogo says Mali needs help to fight rebels.
  • April 1: Junta declares constitution restored, promises elections, but holds on to power.
  • April 2: Economic Community of West African States imposes financial, diplomatic sanctions on Mali, coup leaders; AU starts sanctions next day.

The separatist National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), declared a cease-fire on Thursday, saying it had accomplished its goal.

The Tuareg rebels, along with Islamist fighters, seized the cities of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu over a three-day period beginning last Friday.

It is unclear if the Islamist militant group Ansar Dine, which fought alongside the rebels, will also put down their weapons.  The group, which has been linked to the al-Qaida branch (AQIM) in northern Africa, has imposed Islamic law in some areas.

The Tuareg rebel group wants the northern region to become a separate state that will serve as its homeland.

On Thursday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe warned that the Tuareg rebel issue can be solved only through dialogue and not through military action.

Meanwhile, pressure continues to mount against renegade Malian soldiers who seized power from President Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22.

The country's main political parties have rejected a call by military junta leaders for a "national convention" to sort out the country's political and security problems.

The FDR coalition of 50 political and civil society groups said Wednesday that such a convention would not be compatible with a return to constitutional order.

Junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo had said the proposed meeting of political and civil society representatives could forge a consensus on how to deal with Mali's challenges.

The heavily armed Tuareg rebels arrived in northern Mali after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, and launched an insurgency in mid-January.  Tuareg separatists have been seeking autonomy for decades.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Kwame P. Aboagye
April 10, 2012 2:56 AM
The situation in Mali, should have been dealt with by the so-called African Union, which for me has be a total disaster.

Bring back the OAU(Organisation of African Unity).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs