News

    Tuareg Rebels Vow Push in Mali After Coup

    Mali coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo speaks at the Kati Military camp, in a suburb of Bamako, March 22, 2012.
    Mali coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo speaks at the Kati Military camp, in a suburb of Bamako, March 22, 2012.

    Tuareg rebels in northern Mali say they will push to seize more government territory, a day after mutinous soldiers in the south overthrew President Amadou Toumani Toure.

    During an interview with VOA's French to Africa service, a leader of the rebel MNLA said rebels plan to advance toward areas held by the Malian army, including the towns of Kidal, Timbuktu, and Gao.

    MNLA second-in-command Karim ag Matafa said the group wants to remove the government from what the rebels consider Tuareg land.

    TheTuareg uprising

    • Tauregs are an ethnically Berber, nomadic people in West Africa's Sahel and Sahara regions.
    • Tuareg fighters have staged multiple uprisings in Mali and Niger for greater autonomy.
    • Current Mali rebellion began in January after Tuareg fighters returned from Libya, where they fought for Moammar Gadhafi.
    • The conflict has driven about 100,000 Malians to neighboring countries, internally displaced more than 90,000.
    • Losses to Tauregs prompted soldiers' coup in Bamako Thursday March 22.
    Source:Encyclopedia Brittanica, ICRC, France 24

    Our problem is not with a specific government, he says.  Our problem is with the occupation of our country.

    Ethnic Tuareg fighters began their uprising against Mali's government in January.  The army's dissatisfaction with Mr. Toure's handling of the rebellion prompted soldiers to stage a coup early Thursday.

    The coup has drawn strong criticism internationally.  Friday, the European Union suspended development aid to Mali, a day after the EU, United States, and African Union all called for the return of constitutional rule.

    President Toure's whereabouts are unknown, though media reports Thursday said he is under the protection of his presidential guard.

    The apparent leader of the mutiny, Captain Amadou Sanogo, said on state television Thursday the president and the arrested ministers are safe and will not be harmed.

    "They are well and fine," he said. "I will assure you we will not harm the physical integrity of anyone, but I will assure you that while I am in charge of this movement and, in conjunction with civil society, they will face the competent authorities in full view of the Malian people.''

     

    Thursday's coup took place just a few weeks before the president was due to step down at the end of his second term.  Elections are scheduled for next month.

    Sonny Ugoh, an official with regional bloc ECOWAS, said Thursday the coup heightens insecurity in Mali. ECOWAS had been working with Mali's leaders to try to negotiate an end to the Tuareg uprising, he said.

    “The president of the commission just led a fact-finding mission that returned from Mali where they held consultations, all with the intention of starting a process that would hopefully lead to a negotiated resolution of the crisis in the north of Mali."

    Well-armed Tuareg separatists started attacking army bases in Mali's desert in January, after many Tuareg fighters returned from Libya, where they had assisted in the ousting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.  

    The United Nations refugee agency says the conflict has uprooted 130,000 people in and around Mali. Many soldiers have died in the conflict.

    Tuareg nomads have launched periodic uprisings for greater autonomy in Mali and Niger.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Observer
    March 25, 2012 3:52 AM
    This seems like an accidental coup, barely under control by anyone. Low caste soldiers taking revenge on a society which they feel demands they risk their lives and cannot even deliver food.
    Coups "led" by low ranking officers tend to turn into revolutions, and revolutions don't stay bloodless. Still time to head this off in Mali if people are willing to talk.

    by: assse
    March 23, 2012 11:49 PM
    Military juntas should be punished as they will be lessons for others.It is shame to hear military juntas news for Africa.As far as concerned Militarists are responsible to safe guard the country and people based constitution. Militarists have no mandate to lead country. So AU is now in testing whether returning back to power Toure or not . We are waiting AU and ECOWAS.

    by: zozimos
    March 23, 2012 8:57 AM
    Barranca please!!!. Obviously the 'author' of this article is just doing a good job writing what he/she was told to write. You expect verification too?

    by: Jibrili
    March 23, 2012 7:54 AM
    In response to mr Barranca , there were tuareg fighters among the NTC {anti qaddafi rebels} as well , it is documented and only a quick search away . The problem is not Qaddafi , for he is dead .
    Why do these people feel so disenfranchised to the point where they are compelled towards rebellion every now and then , that is the problem !

    by: Barranca
    March 23, 2012 7:22 AM
    Please verify whether the Tuaregs were fighting for Gadhafi. This sentence makes it sound like they were fighting to remove Gadhafi, when in fact they were ardent supporters of Gadhafi:

    "Well-armed Tuareg separatists started attacking army bases in Mali's desert in January, after many Tuareg fighters returned from Libya, where they had assisted in the ousting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi"

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.