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Fighting rages between army and rebels in Mali

Kidal area where the fighting is taking place

Kidal area where the fighting is taking place

Fighting resumed Sunday between the Malian army and Tuareg separatist and rebel groups in the country's northern region, military officers and elected officials said.

Since seizing power in a coup in 2020, the African country's military rulers have made a priority of re-establishing sovereignty over all regions and Kidal could become a key battleground. One military officer told AFP that the Mali army has "resumed operations on the ground to secure the entire national territory."

A local elected official, also speaking under the condition of anonymity, said that "fighting has resumed near Kidal" and locals could "hear sounds of rockets."

Army planes were seen flying towards Kidal on Sunday, another official said. Fighting had begun a day earlier as the army closed in on the area, after announcing Thursday that it was starting "strategic movements aimed at securing and eradicating all terrorist threats in the Kidal region."

A large military convoy stationed since early October at Anefis, some 110 kilometers to the south, set off towards Kidal. Military, political and rebel sources all reported the clashes. But details such as a casualty toll or tactics involved could not be confirmed independently in the remote region.

The rebels in Kidal cut telephone links on Friday in anticipation of an army offensive following several days of airstrikes. Some 25,000 people live in the Kidal desert area, a key site on the road to Algeria and a historic hotbed of insurrection.

Residents have been braced for a confrontation since the Tuareg rebellion took up arms again in August. The Tuaregs previously launched an insurgency in 2012, inflicting humiliating defeats on the army before agreeing to a ceasefire in 2014 and a peace deal in 2015.

The uprising in 2012 coincided with insurgencies by radical Islamist groups who have never stopped fighting Bamako, plunging Mali into a political, security and humanitarian crisis that has spread to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

Comments

0 #1 kabayekka 2023-11-14 00:36
What sort of African Unity or Pan Africanism is this that is trying to integrated the continent for its people to live in peace and harmony and economic development?

These African military hero fighters are calling for cease fires and peace talks while at the same time they are planning for more civil wars of killing each other and the poor African civilians, until Jesus comes back to earth! It seems African Union is a stitch up by African leadership that are greedy for state power.
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0 #2 Kidepwe 2023-11-14 07:41
The Malian junta in power and citizens, must be deeply regretting why they forced the United Nations and French troops out of their country, thinking the Wagner mercenaries would do a better job.

Let them suffer. And when the Malians are forced to flee into exile, let them try Russia and not France. Stupid decisions must suffer corresponding consequences.
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0 #3 kabayekka 2023-11-14 19:04
Indeed it seems some of these many African leaders are determined to stay put in state power until their efforts and dreams to unite Africa are all realized!
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