News / Africa

Tuareg Leaders in Niger and Mali Urge Tuareg in Libya to Work With NTC

A nomad from the famed Tuareg tribe of the Sahara Desert brings his herd for vaccination to a team of US special forces handing out aid near the town of Gao in northeastern Mali. (File Photo)
A nomad from the famed Tuareg tribe of the Sahara Desert brings his herd for vaccination to a team of US special forces handing out aid near the town of Gao in northeastern Mali. (File Photo)

Tuareg leaders in Niger and Mali are urging Tuareg fighters in Libya to abandon Moammar Gadhafi and work with the country's new leaders.

The change of power in Libya could further destabilize Africa's Sahelian region, where al-Qaida affiliated terrorists are already active.

Tuareg legislators from Mali and Niger say Libya's interim council has promised not to target Tuareg members of the Gadhafi army.

By urging those fighters to join Libya's new leaders, Sahelian governments are hoping to avoid a mass movement south that would worsen conditions in an already food-insecure region and could benefit al-Qaida affiliated terrorists.

Despite assurances from Libya's new leaders, the head of Niger and Mali's Tuareg Contact Group, Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh, says Africans in Libya still face the threat of reprisals over their past support for Colonel Gadhafi.

Assaleh says Tuareg leaders in Niger and Mali do not doubt their partners in Libya's National Transitional Council, but war is war. There are always things that slip away, he says, uncontrollable elements when there are so many things going on. There are still two or three weeks needed to put everything in order, Assaleh says, but Sahelian Tuaregs are confident in the future.

Thousands of Tuaregs from Niger and Mali settled in Libya during Gadhafi's rule. Many worked as migrant labor. Some joined his military. As the Gadhafi regime crumbled, some Tuareg troops fled Libya. Malian parliamentarian Assaleh says Tuareg leaders are working to ensure their safe return.

Assaleh says some of those Tuareg troops retreated to Mali and Niger, and Tuareg leaders are asking them to return to their barracks in Libya to avoid having the conflict spill across Libya's borders into the Sahel.

Mohamed Anacko heads Niger's Agadez Regional Council as is the vice president of the bi-national Contact Group.

Anacko says Niger and Mali are very fragile states that can not absorb the influx of hundreds of thousands of people. So the Contact Group is working with Libya's new leaders to create trust with Tuareg fighters from the former regime so those fighters do not return to Niger and Mali with their weapons.

Anacko says it is the hope of the Contact Group that, in the coming days, Niger will be able to negotiate the safe return of Tuareg soldiers to Libya.

Anacko's Agadez region is one of the most affected by both the collapse of the Gadhafi regime and the growth of Sahelian terrorism. Niger's government says the area is already hosting nearly 80,000 migrants who fled Libya.

Security forces in Niger recovered detonators, more than 600 kilograms of semtex explosives and $90,000 in cash during a shoot out with suspected terrorists in June.

Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou says the arms came from Libya and were intended for al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which is responsible for a string of kidnappings and ambushes across the Sahel.

Regional concern about the spread of terrorism is growing with Nigeria's government saying those responsible for last month's bombing of United Nations headquarters in the capital met with al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists in Somalia.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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