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

Photogallery Kyiv: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
X
August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid