Mali military enters city of Kidal

2013-07-06 09:03
Tuareg Malian soldiers under the command of Colonel El-Hadj Ag Gamou patrol the streets of Gao, northern Mali. (Jerome Delay, AP/File)

Tuareg Malian soldiers under the command of Colonel El-Hadj Ag Gamou patrol the streets of Gao, northern Mali. (Jerome Delay, AP/File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - The Malian military entered the northern city of Kidal on Friday afternoon, returning for the first time since they were chased out 16 months ago by a Tuareg separatist group, and later by an army of al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

"It was around 17:00 that the soldiers entered Kidal and penetrated Camp 1 inside the city. The Malian military was accompanied by the French military, just as they were when our soldiers entered Timbuktu and Gao," said Lt Col Souleymane Maiga, the director of information and public relations for the Malian military.

The return of the Malian forces was confirmed by Kidal's deputy mayor.

Kidal, like the rest of northern Mali, fell to a mixture of rebel groups in March of 2012. It remained in rebel hands during the past six months, even after French forces launched a military intervention to free northern Mali from the fighters, succeeding in liberating all of the other major towns.

Tuareg rebels re-entered Kidal in February and March of this year, erecting roadblocks, levying taxes and creating a de facto Tuareg state.

After intense international wrangling, the Tuareg groups controlling Kidal signed an agreement last month, which paved the way for the return of Mali's military on Friday. Their return still comes as a surprise though, with many worried that the Tuareg separatists would not accept the army inside Kidal's city limits. It removes one of the major obstacles to an upcoming presidential election, scheduled to take place in just three weeks.

"The Malian army arrived in Kidal," said Deputy Mayor Abda Ag Kazina. "There were two demonstrations - one was to support the army. The other was to prevent the army from returning. There were shots fired in the air and the protesters dispersed," he said.

Mali's north and south could easily be two different countries - inhabited by radically different ethnic groups. Kidal is home predominantly to Tuareg and Arab ethnic groups, both lighter skinned than the sub-Saharan ethnic groups common in the south, where the capital and the seat of power is located.

The army is overwhelmingly made-up of soldiers from southern ethnicities, and they are accused of carrying out reprisal killings against Arab and Tuareg civilians in the other northern towns they recently retook, especially Timbuktu, where reporters discovered the shallow graves of civilians executed by the military this January.


- AP
Read more on:    mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Motoring
 

Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Are you thirty and still single, without even a hint of a prospect on the horizon? Then read this!

 
 

Men24.com

SA’s Playboy Playmate of the year in action!
12 lies everyone accepts as fact
Hottie of the day: Charlotte
Breakup text goes viral and it’s hilarious!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You have the ability to lead and take up campaigns that can sway the crowd and make things happen. There can be a slightly...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.