Mali Army Clashes in Kidal with Tuareg Separatists

Mali Army Clashes in Kidal with Tuareg Separatists

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The armed forces of Mali are intent on solidifying the central state. Henceforth, military clashes erupted between the armed forces of Mali and separatists from the Tuareg in Kidal.

Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Northern Nigeria are blighted by Sunni Islamic terrorist forces that seek conservative Sharia Islamic states. In Mali, the regional dimensions in the north involve the Tuareg and others – with the Islamist JNIM seeking a draconian Sharia state.

The BBC reports, “For nearly two months, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) has been trying to completely cut off the historic northern city of Timbuktu, preventing supplies from getting in.”

The Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) – and other forces – oppose the armed forces of Mali seeking control over northern parts of the country. Islamist forces naturally seek to entrench themselves further afield.

Col Malick Diaw of the armed forces of Mali said (related to the military convoy sent to Kidal), “We consider security throughout the country to be an absolute priority.”

Regional Tuaregs in Algeria, Libya, and Niger voice support for the CMA.

The International Crisis Group reports,  “Following the May 2021 coup, several individuals opposed to the Algiers Accord, in particular Choguel Maïga, who is now prime minister, rose to power, raising serious concerns among the signatory armed groups. Meanwhile, the new authorities in Bamako were apprehensive about the creation that same month of the CSP, which brought together two coalitions, the CMA and Plateforme, that formerly were rivals. Since then, Bamako has feared that this united front could weaken its position in the peace process and jeopardize its aspirations to regain full control of all of Mali.”

Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “ISIS (Islamic State – IS) and several terrorist branches of al-Qaeda (al-Qaida) roam vast regions of the Sahel and the Lake Chad region – linking with West Africa (Northern Nigeria). Also, ethnic differences from Northern Mali – to ethnic and religious tensions in Northern Nigeria (endless massacres against Christians) mean a vast area of instability – with Libya in North Africa being a conduit for terrorism, arms trafficking, and people’s smuggling. Therefore, millions of people have fled parts of Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and other nations linking West Africa (Nigeria).”

Instead of the international community seeking to dictate to Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger – with Chad also facing external pressure – they need to listen to regional leaders who face extreme difficulties.

Mali and the CMA need to solve their political differences. If not, Takfiri Islamists will seek to devour both.

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