Mali: Dozens Killed in Clashes With Tuareg Rebels

    Mali: Dozens Killed in Clashes With Tuareg Rebels
    Last updated Sep 13, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • According to the Malian military, 10 soldiers and 46 militants were killed in fighting between the Malian army and a Tuareg rebel group in the northern town of Bourem on Tuesday.
    • Earlier on Tuesday, an alliance of Tuareg-dominated groups calling itself the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) announced that it had taken control of a camp and several forward posts from the army and the allied Russian paramilitary group Wagner during an offensive on the town.
    • However, following what the rebel alliance said was "intense fighting" to capture the strategically important town located between Gao and Timbuktu, the Malian army claimed its troops regained control of their positions with air force support.
    • In August, fighting intensified between Malian forces and the Tuareg rebels, with both sides aiming to gain control of areas recently vacated by UN troops after the Malian government ordered France and the UN to leave the nation.
    • On Monday, the rebels, who aim for independence or autonomy but signed a peace deal with Bamako in 2015, called on the region's population to join the "war effort" against the government and its allied Russian Wagner forces to regain "control of the entire territory."
    • Tuesday's attack came after suspected jihadists killed 64 in an attack on an army camp in the country's north and on a passenger ship last week, followed by a suicide attack on a military base in Gao that killed about 10 soldiers on Friday, the Malian military said.


    Pro-establishment narrative

    The recent clashes and the brief capture of Bourem are the latest signs that the 2015 peace agreement between the Malian junta and the Tuareg rebels is all but history. Violence in the country, which is on the rise again due to Bamako and the brutal Wagner mercenaries' failure to honor the agreement, is also being exacerbated by the withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping mission. The expulsion of French forces and the UN, who were also monitoring the peace agreement's implementation, is also likely to strengthen regional Islamists.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The recent and tragic upsurge of violence in Mali demands a clear analysis of the underlying causes. It was Libya's collapse following the 2011 NATO intervention that triggered the Tuareg rebellion and regional Islamist insurgency. France and the US aren't part of the solution but of the problem in Africa, while pretending to only want to "help" in fighting terrorism. Yet, far from taking their share of responsibility for insecurity and destabilization, they have declared the Sahel's new governments and the Wagner forces to be the scapegoats.

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