News / Africa

Clashes in Northern Mali Kill at Least 30

FILE - This file picture dated July 29, 2013 shows Malian soldiers patrolling in Kidal, northern Mali. FILE - This file picture dated July 29, 2013 shows Malian soldiers patrolling in Kidal, northern Mali.
x
FILE - This file picture dated July 29, 2013 shows Malian soldiers patrolling in Kidal, northern Mali.
FILE - This file picture dated July 29, 2013 shows Malian soldiers patrolling in Kidal, northern Mali.
Reuters

More than 30 people were killed in desert clashes in northern Mali, the army and Tuareg rebels said, just days before the start of internationally-brokered peace talks.

Al-Qaida-linked Islamists took advantage of a Tuareg separatist uprising and occupied swaths of northern Mali in 2012 before being driven back last year by French troops.

The fighters scattered across the Sahara's mountains and sand dunes but have carried out a string of attacks on U.N. troops and Malian forces.

An army source said on Sunday that 37 people had been killed in clashes which began on Friday in the northern desert area between Gao and Kidal. The army blamed the violence on infighting between separatists.

Peace talks between Mali government officials and Tuareg rebels are due to start in Algeria on Wednesday, the first meeting since clashes in the Tuareg stronghold town of Kidal in May in which some 50 Malian soldiers were killed.

The army source said those killed in the most recent clashes were from the main Tuareg separatist group MNLA and a group of northern Malian Arabs called MAA.

However, MNLA spokesman Mohamed Ag Attaye said in a statement that 35 were killed from the Malian army and other “militias” and blamed government forces for starting the attack.

In past incidents, both sides have played down the casualties they sustained.

France dispatched troops to Mali last year to halt the advance by Islamists. The former colonial power currently has 1,700 troops in Mali and said on Sunday it was reorganizing its forces in Mali and surrounding countries into a single regional body.

“It's a regional operation to ensure the security of the area and prevent jihadist groups from emerging again,” French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Europe 1 radio.

The United Nations has also deployed a peacekeeping force in Mali which operates separately from French troops.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said on Friday he was “concerned by certain armed groups' violation of the cease-fire agreements signed with Bamako on May 23.”

France, as well as Mali's northern neighbor Algeria and the West Africa regional bloc ECOWAS are pushing warring sides to hold talks that could end decades of Tuareg uprisings in Mali's desert north.

In addition to deep distrust between the armed groups and Bamako, tensions between the separatists is a challenge for mediators. On several occasions, disagreements have led to open conflict between them.

The 2012 uprising led to a military coup in the capital and the occupation of the northern half of the country by Islamist militants who had allied with the rebels.

Mali's separatist movements are demanding greater autonomy for northern Mali, which they term Azawad.  

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid