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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

ILO: Women Still Losing Out in Global Work Place

International Labor Organization says women are marginally better off now than they were 20 years ago More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

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