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Mali

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Algeria hosted various meetings 5-17 June, secured pro-govt and rebel armed groups’ commitment to peace talks; efforts welcomed by French FM Laurent Fabius 8 June. After Kidal military rout and rebel strategic victories late May, country again divided north/south; no major armed clash in June but 4 peacekeepers killed, 10 wounded in 11 June suicide attack on Aguelhok MINUSMA camp; 1 peacekeeper killed, 6 wounded by landmine in Timbuktu region 30 June. Opposition 13 June put forward censure motion against PM Mara and govt over incapacity to resolve country’s urgent problems, especially insurgency; motion rejected 18 June. Ex-Defence Minister Maïga 2 June called for parliamentary investigation into May Kidal disaster, urged other leaders to take responsibility. Authorities 5 June arrested group of “red berets”, charged them with attempting to destabilise state authority. UNSC 25 June extended MINUSMA mandate to June 2015, urged greater presence in north. IMF 19 June, World Bank 25 June delayed aid over purchase of $40mn presidential plane and controversial $140mn military contract.

Mali

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

National Reconciliation Minister Ould Sidy Mohamed 3 May reiterated govt’s willingness to engage in dialogue, warned that discussions must respect national territorial integrity, regional stability and principle of inclusion. High Council for Unity of Azawad (HCUA) 11 May expressed desire to hold dialogue outside Mali; FM and Minister for Reconciliation 22 May travelled to Algiers to discuss offer to facilitate talks; not all rebel groups accepted. Mauritanian President Ould Abdel Aziz 24 May visited Kidal, secured ceasefire agreement; UNSC 29 May exhorted govt, rebels to uphold ceasefire. MNLA informant killed 2 May in Kidal by unidentified gunmen; French soldier killed 8 May near Tessalit; Serval forces 11 May arrested “Mortalla” Al-Housseini ag Ahayare, former political commissioner of Ansar Dine. PM Mara 17 May visited Kidal, prompting deadly clashes between Tuareg armed fighters and security forces: 8 soldiers killed and 25 injured; 28 Tuareg fighters killed and 62 wounded. MNLA early May abducted 4 civil servants and 24 Malian soldiers, blamed govt’s failure to advance peace talks; hostages released 18-19 May after negotiations; PM Mara said govt “officially at war with rebels”. Following 17 May death of 8 govt hostages in Kidal, President IBK said “cannot understand” why France pressuring govt to negotiate with MNLA.

Mali

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Month saw limited progress in peace talks; overlapping external facilitation attempts highlighted lack of coordination. President IBK 14 April repeated govt ready to negotiate but cautioned against MNLA’s “duplicity”. Security operations in north ongoing. MUJAO 23 April announced death of hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal, abducted Nov 2012, said “France is MUJAO’s enemy”; France next day vowed to punish MUJAO. PM Tatam Ly 6 April resigned, Moussa Mara appointed as replacement; Mara 11 April formed new cabinet with 31 members but only 8 newcomers. President 23 April appointed former PM Modibo Keïta high representative for inter-Malian dialogue; PM Mara 29 April pledged to revive peace talks, did not give timeframe.

Mali

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Increasing fears peace talks may be compromised as several armed groups, including MNLA and wing of Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA), 13-14 March and 20-21 March refused to attend workshops co-organised by MINUSMA and national reconciliation ministry, denouncing govt’s unwillingness to comply with provisions of June 2013 Ouagadougou agreement (including release of prisoners and freedom of movement for armed groups). Former MNLA leader Ibrahim ag Mohamed Assaleh 9 March announced creation of new dissident movement Coordination of People of Azawad, deepening leadership and legitimacy crisis affecting Tuareg and Arab armed groups. Security situation in north continued to deteriorate: Mourabitoune jihadi group affiliated to Mokhtar Belmokhtar 2 March claimed responsibility for attacks on Timbuktu and Gao; group of unidentified armed men 4 March shot at local MNLA commander; rockets fired at Gao 7 March; military vehicle near Ansongo hit landmine 9 March; 4 Chadian peacekeepers wounded when MINUSMA vehicle hit landmine between Aguelhok and Tessalit 16 March. French army 5 March announced 10 jihadis killed early month in north, including former MUJAO leader Omar Ould Hamaha; 20 March said at least 40 killed in recent operations. Investigators 2 March discovered body of Colonel Youssouf Traoré, former member of junta, possibly killed late Sept 2013 after clash with former junta leader General Sanogo. National Assembly 27 March voted to create High Court of justice to try cases of high treason for heads of state and ministers; court expected to indict former President Touré.

Mali

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Talks between govt and armed groups, stalled since Nov 2013, resumed 13 Feb in Bamako; parties 15 Feb reached agreement on cantonment but no precise timeframe yet; Arab Armed Group (MAA) left negotiations. Insecurity remained high: rockets launched on Gao 13 Feb, Timbuktu 16 Feb. 31 Tuareg civilians killed 6 Feb near Tamkoutat, Gao region; MNLA claimed responsibility. MUJAO affiliate Yoro Abdousalam claimed responsibility for 10 Feb abduction of 4 ICRC staff. Further fighting reported in Tin-Hama near Ansongo 10 Feb. Court mid Feb ordered arrest of prominent military figures connected to former junta. Médecins du Monde* vehicle 26 Feb ran over landmine in Kidal, leaving 2 injured.

* Correction: this was originally stated incorrectly as a Médecins Sans Frontières vehicle. The text was corrected to Médecins du Monde on 5 March 2014.

Mali

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Security in North remained volatile: gunmen 11 Jan attacked military camp in Aguelhok, repelled by MINUSMA peacekeepers; 5 peacekeepers injured by landmine 20 Jan near Kidal. French forces 23 Jan killed 11 jihadis north of Timbuktu; 2 bombs exploded 24 Jan in Kidal. Despite incidents, France pressed for reducing contingent in N Mali; following popular discontent govt and France postponed signing new military agreement initially planned 22 Jan. MNLA spokesperson 8 Jan reiterated 22 Dec statement by MNLA, HCUA and MAA accusing govt of not respecting 18 June Ouagadougou agreement, called for organisation of inclusive peace talks. Algerian authorities mid Jan organised meeting with armed groups and govt ahead of President IBK’s official visit to Algiers, concluding with agreement to establish bilateral N Mali committee; MAA and MNLA declined to attend, accused Algiers of inviting “wrong” pro-govt MAA representatives. Ruling “Rally for Mali” (RPM) candidate Issaka Sidibé elected president of National Assembly 22 Jan where, following Supreme Court’s 31 Dec release of legislative election results, President IBK’s RPM has 66 of 147 seats.

Mali

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Legislative elections held 15 Dec without major incidents but with low turnout (37%); president and allies retained comfortable majority in parliament. Violence and insecurity in north continued; 3 Fulani herders killed in Goundam 4 Dec; 6 ethnic Arabs allegedly abducted Feb by Malian army in Timbuktu found dead 9 Dec. Militants launched several attacks including bombings in Menaka 1 Dec against MINUSMA Nigerien contingent, 1 killed. French troops 10 Dec killed 19 Islamist militants near Timbuktu; car bomb in Kidal killed 2 MINUSMA Senegalese soldiers 14 Dec. Authorities 4 Dec found mass grave in Diago near Bamako, believed to be “red beret” soldiers who participated in April 2012 counter-coup. Govt 27 Dec announced plans to investigate former president Touré for high treason. Chadian, French MINUSMA soldiers 28-29 Dec discovered nearly 6 tonnes of explosives in arms cache 150km SE of Tessalit. French Defence Minister 31 Dec visited Gao, said Mali almost secure, but pockets of fragility remain in Libya, N Niger and Chad.

Mali

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

MNLA VP Mahamadou Djeri Maïga 29 Nov announced end to 5-month-old ceasefire, return to war following 28 Nov clash between security forces and several hundred Tuareg demonstrators blocking Kidal airport to prevent PM Tatam Ly visit; MNLA’s military branch rejected call for war. Legislative elections held 24 Nov in relative calm despite minor incidents: Tuareg separatists in Gao demonstrated, seized electoral material to prevent voting; Tuareg separatists in Kidal threw stones at voters arriving to cast ballots; unidentified assailants stole ballots in Goundam. Clashes between Tuaregs and Peuls in Gao 23 Nov left at least 16 dead; officials said clashes unrelated to elections. 2 RFI journalists abducted and killed 2 Nov near Kidal; drug trafficker and AQIM member Baye Ag Bakabo named as main suspect. Former junta leader Captain Sanogo arrested 27 Nov to face charges of complicity in kidnapping and murder.

Mali

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Security in north deteriorated: first-ever suicide attack on MINUSMA peacekeepers 23 Oct near Tessalit killed 7; 1 killed in MUJAO mortar attacks on Gao 7 Oct. Demonstrators gathered in Gao 10 Oct to protest insecurity, weak state presence. France, MINUSMA, Malian army 24 Oct launched joint military operation “Hydre” “to avoid revival of terrorist movements” in north. Govt 2 Oct released 23 war prisoners; MNLA 5 Oct announced 3 main armed groups resumed participation in peace talks; IBK 29 Oct lifted arrest warrants against 4 Tuareg leaders in name of “national reconciliation”. Political situation in Bamako remained tense: govt 3 Oct launched Operation Saniya to retake control of barracks in Kati, following late Sept mutiny; bodies of 4 soldiers, including General Sanogo’s head of security, found at barracks; court 31 Oct summoned Sanogo over alleged violence involving men under his command.

Mali

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) inaugurated 4 Sept, 5 Sept named Oumar Tatam Ly new PM. Tatam Ly 8 Sept named new cabinet, including former cabinet director of coup leader Captain Sanogo, Gen Moussa Sinko Coulibaly, as new interior minister; opposition leaders protested against Sinko Coulibaly keeping position in new govt. Tensions in north increased: 29 Sept suicide attack in Timbuktu left at least 2 civilians and 4 jihadis dead, as well as 6 Malian soldiers injured. President IBK 26 Sept called for Sahara countries to create regional multilateral rapid reaction force to respond to ongoing Islamist threat across region. Armed clashes 15 Sept near Léré between Malian army and MNLA, reasons unclear. Following MNLA suspension of participation in peace process 26 Sept, grenade attack 27 Sept wounded 2 soldiers in Kidal. 29-30 Sept clashes between MNLA and Malian army in Kidal left at least 3 injured. Delegation of ministers visiting Kidal 15 Sept pelted with stones. Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA), High Council for Unity of Azawad (HCUA), Coordination of Patriotic Resistance Forces and Movements (CM-FPR) and MNLA 17 Sept agreed on joint public statement; also agreed to meet regularly to discuss grievances and make progress toward settlement of final peace agreement.

Mali

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Second round of presidential polls took place 11 Aug in positive climate despite minor incidents; Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK) declared winner 16 Aug with 77.6% of vote, 46% turnout. Interim President Traoré 15 Aug promoted April 2012 coup leader Captain Sanogo to 4-star general; Minister of Territorial Administration Colonel Sinko Coulibaly and Colonel Dacko, who headed military operations in north, also promoted to rank of general; unclear whether President-elect IBK approved decision. Govt 28 Aug announced Sanogo no longer in charge of army reform committee.

Mali

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

Presidential elections held 28 July without major incidents, 50% turnout despite Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) threat to attack election offices and polling stations; former PM Boubacar Keïta leading in results, possibility of outright first-round victory; supporters of Soumaïla Cissé’s URD 30 July accused other parties of “ballot stuffing”; PARENA candidate Tiébilé Dramé 18 July withdrew from race after his request to postpone polls denied. Army re-deployment in north continued: Waraba battalion arrived in Tessalit, Aguelhok 27 July. Ongoing tensions in Kidal region: 11 July visit to Kidal town by regional governor aborted for security reasons, took place 15 July; at least 1 killed 18 July in intercommunal clashes; authorities 20 July reported several election workers kidnapped by unknown gunmen. Mixed commission bringing together army, MNLA/HCUA, Operation Serval and ECOWAS representatives 4 July agreed to set up cantonment camp for MNLA forces near Kidal. Nigerian govt 18 July announced withdrawal of troops from UN mission (MINUSM) citing need for troops at home. French hostage Philippe Verdon, abducted Nov 2011 in Hombori, found dead.

Mali

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

Direct talks between govt and Tuareg MNLA (National Movement for Liberation of Azawad)/HCUA (High Council for Unity of Azawad) began 8 June; preliminary agreement signed 18 June, included provisions for immediate ceasefire, stationing and disarming of armed groups in Kidal region, and facilitation of elections. Overall level of violence and armed attacks decreased throughout month but military operations still ongoing. Communal tensions also remain high; Amnesty International highlighted serious human rights abuses committed by security forces and different armed groups since beginning of Operation Serval in Jan 2013. MNLA 2 June arrested several alleged spies, expelled dozens of “black Africans” from Kidal. UNSC report 10 June expressed worries about enduring insecurity in north and limited progress toward reconciliation and extension of state authority; 26 June authorised deployment of UN peacekeeping force beginning 1 July. In bid to promote reconciliation between opposing factions in security forces President Traoré 26 June said all soldiers incarcerated since 30 April will be released. Electoral commission (CENI) president 27 June expressed doubts over feasibility of holding elections 28 July.

Mali

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Low-frequency attacks continued in north. MUJAO 6 and 10 May claimed responsibility for attacks, bombing attempts in Gao, Gossi (Timbuktu region) and Hamakouladji (Gao region). Clashes between Tuareg and Arab communities reported in Ber (60km from Gao) and Anefis (90km from Kidal); French forces reportedly intervened 18 May to remove Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) from Anefis. Govt 2 May appointed Colonel Adama Kamissoko as new governor of Kidal. Sons of Ifogha Amenokal (traditional leader) 19 May created new Tuareg movement Higher Council for Unity of Azawad (HCUA) and dissolved Islamic Council of Azawad (MIA). International donor conference in Brussels pledged €3.25bn for Mali; China 24 May said it wants to contribute 500 troops to newly-created UN peacekeeping mission. Burkinabé President Compaoré 27 May began mediation to resolve Kidal crisis; MIA said it would join talks in Ouagadagou; govt special envoy Tiebilé Dramé 29 May met with MAA delegation in Nouakchott. 1 French soldier injured during attack on convoy in Kidal 28 May.

Mali

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Suicide attacks in northern towns continued. French/Malian troops 1 April killed 3  alleged jihadis in Timbuktu; 10 April arrested Tarkint mayor Baba Ould Cheikh near Gao for suspected links with Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and drug trafficking; 6-11 April led Operation Gustav to comb areas near Gao. Suicide attack in Kidal killed 3 Chadian soldiers 12 April; roadside bomb killed French soldier 29 April. EUTM-Mali 2 April started operations in Koulikoro; expected to last 15 months. UNSC 25 April  approved deployment of force comprising 11,200 military personnel, 1,440 international police, to take over from 6,000-member African Union mission AFISMA on 1 July, security permitting. French and Chadian troops early-month began drawdown; France said would reduce forces on the ground to 2,000 by July and 1,000 by year-end; Chad indicated it may redeploy troops as part of UN-led force. MNLA 24 April said group rejects elections and disarming before talks with Bamako.

Mali

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

Military operations targeting Islamist militant groups in north intensified, including fierce clashes in Gao as Islamist rebel attack repelled 24 March; clashes ongoing in Timbuktu following suicide bomb attack on army checkpoint 30 March. Chadian army 2 March said ex-AQIM emir Mokhtar Belmokthar killed. French joint chiefs of staff head Guillaud 4 March said AQIM “Sahara emir” Abou Zeid “probably” killed in airstrike late Feb; media 6 March reported Ansar Dine leader Iyad ag Ghali likely killed during fighting in Tigarghar mountains. French Defence Minister Le Drian 7 March visited forces in Ametettai valley, said French forces “dismantled AQIM base”, killed more than 150 rebels in Gao vicinity since Feb; President Hollande 6 March said final phase of military intervention, troop drawdown to begin in April. French FM Fabius 14 March called on UNSC to deploy peacekeepers; UNSG Ban 26 March report to UNSC proposed 11,000-strong multidimensional integrated stabilization mission. Regional states confirmed plans to send troops to join regional force. MNLA 5 March called on ICC to investigate army crimes; UN OHCHR 12 March issued communiqué accusing Malian army of reprisals against Tuareg, Arab and Peul communities, increasing fears of inter-ethnic backlash. Journalist Boukary Daou arrested for publishing article criticising coup leader Captain Sanogo’s salary; arrest prompted media strike, concern over junta influence in Bamako. Govt 6 March announced creation of Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission.

Mali

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Military operations against Islamic militants in north continued: French air force 3 Feb bombarded arms caches and suspected Islamist training camps in Kidal area; clashes in Ifoghas mountain range near Kidal left 1 French soldier, 20 suspected militants dead 18 Feb; 23 Chadian soldiers, 93 militants killed in clashes near Tessalit 22-24 Feb. Suicide bomber killed at least 7 in Kidal 26 Feb. Senior AQIM commander Abu Zeid, 40 other militants, reportedly killed 25 Feb in Tigargara. Situation in Bamako also remained tense: green beret soldiers loyal to coup leader Captain Sanogo 8 Feb clashed with red beret soldiers loyal to ousted President Touré leaving at least 3 dead, 13 injured; PM Cissoko 15 Feb said red beret corps will be restructured. Car bomb exploded near French military camp in Kidal 21 Feb; MUJAO claimed responsibility for 8 and 10 Feb suicide attacks on Malian soldiers in Gao. Fears of inter-ethnic backlash increased following reports ethnic Tuareg and Arabs summarily executed by Malian army; Human Rights Watch urged govt to prosecute soldiers suspected of rights violations. French President Hollande 2 Feb visited country, said terrorism has been pushed back but not defeated; 6 Feb asked UNSC to deploy UN peacekeepers. French FM Fabius 6 Feb said French forces may begin pull-out in March. EU 16 Feb said it will disburse €20 million in addition to €250 million already earmarked; approved deployment of mission to train Malian army.

Mali

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged Risk Alert Resolution Opportunity

France 11 Jan launched “Operation Serval” intervention to oust Islamists in northern Mali, backed by African-led mission (AFISMA) deployed 17 Jan, prompted hopes area will return to govt control, but also fears military approach will divert attention from political process in Bamako and risk further detabilisation, regional spillover, and possible backlash. French forces quickly advanced north: at least 100 Islamists, 60 Malian troops, 1 French soldier, 10 civilians killed in battle of Konna; at least 50 Islamists, 3 soldiers reportedly killed 14-21 Jan in battle of Diabaly. French/Malian forces 26 Jan took control of Gao, 27 Jan captured Timbuktu, 30 Jan captured last rebel stronghold of Kidal. U.S. air force 22 Jan began airlift of French mechanised infantry units; several EU states pledged logistical/material support; French ground troops expected to swell to 3,700 total. UN 31 Jan said considering deploying up to 5,000 peacekeepers when Operation Serval is over. Rights groups late-month accused Malian troops of executing several Tuaregs and Arabs in Sévaré. Leader of Ansar Dine dissident faction, Algabass Ag Intallah, 24 Jan announced creation of Islamic Movement for Azawad; said group ready to engage in peace talks and fight Ansar Dine.

Mali

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

UNSC 20 Dec unanimously authorised deployment of International Support Mission in Mali (MISMA) troops but urged more efforts toward political reconciliation, elections, army training. Junta 10-11 Dec reportedly forced PM Cheick Modibo Diarra to resign; interim President Traoré 12 Dec appointed Diango Sissoko as new PM. Sissoko 15 Dec named new govt but military still in charge of defence, justice, interior ministries. Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly said elections not possible until north regained and Islamists defeated. French Defence Minister Le Drian 24 Dec said military intervention could happen early 2013; Le Figaro reported General François Lecointre will head EU training mission (EUTM Mali) set to be deployed early 2013. Representatives of MNLA Tuareg rebels met with ECOWAS mediator Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan 14 Dec as part of regional tour by group, 21 Dec signed deal with Ansar Dine in Algiers agreeing to start negotiations with govt. Head of al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb’s (AQIM) Moulathamine brigade, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, 8 Dec announced creation of new “blood signatories” group (see Algeria); AQIM emir Abou Zeid 25 posted video accusing France of blocking negotiations to release hostages. Islamists, reportedly comprised of Libyan extremists and Mali-based jihadis, 9 Dec announced creation of new “Ansar al-Sharia” group in Gao. U.S., UN mid-month listed MUJAO as terrorist movement. MUJAO 21 Dec reportedly amputated 2 people in Gao, 27 Dec took control of Halil town in Kidal region; Ansar Dine 23 Dec destroyed 3 mausoleums in Timbuktu.

Mali

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

ECOWAS heads of state 11 Nov agreed to deploy 3,300 troops for one year to take back Islamist-held north, 26 Nov sent plan to UNSC for approval; UNSG Ban 29 Nov urged caution, said military intervention should be last resort. AU acting president Yayi Boni 30 Nov said disappointed with UNSG Ban’s report, urged immediate action. UN Special Envoy for Sahel Romano Prodi 19 Nov said intervention unlikely before Sept 2013. AFRICOM Gen Carter Ham 14 Nov said U.S. ready to consider requests for military support; EU FMs 19 Nov agreed to send 250 military advisors to support African-led intervention. Diplomatic efforts to resolve crisis continued: rebel Ansar Dine (AD) delegation 4 Nov met with Burkinabè FM and mediator Bassolé in Ouagadougou, 6 Nov met with President Compaoré and MNLA Tuareg rebels delegation, said ready to cease hostilities, renounce terrorism; transitional govt expected to meet with MNLA delegation in Ouagadougou 3 Dec. Conflicting statements throughout month on intention to implement Sharia in territories under AD control suggested internal divisions within group. Media 4 Nov reported representatives of key AD leader Iyad Ag Ghali in Algiers to negotiate “rupture with AQIM” (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) with Algerian govt. Fighting continued: following 16-19 Nov clashes between MNLA and Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) near Gao, MUJAO 20 Nov seized Ménaka. MNLA 27 Nov withdrew from Leré, near Mauritanian border; AD 28 Nov reportedly took town. MUJAO 20 Nov abducted French national in Diema, near Mauritania-Senegal border. AQIM’s Sahara emirate 28 Nov announced creation of 6th brigade composed mainly of Tuaregs to be led by El Kairouani Abu Abdelhamid al-Kidali, expected to be active in area surrounding Kidal Aguelhok and Tigherghar mountain range.

Mali

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Planning for military intervention in Islamist-held north continued as UN 12 Oct gave ECOWAS, AU 45-day deadline to set out “means and modalities” for intervention. AU appointed former Guinean transitional president and military strongman Gen Sekouba Konaté to make proposed West African force “operational”; international experts met in Bamako 31 Oct to discuss intervention plans. Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) 29 Oct vowed to “take Bamako in 24 hours” if international forces deployed. Diplomatic efforts to resolve crisis also continued: AU 26 Oct named former Burundian president Buyoya as High Representative for Mali and Sahel, 24 Oct lifted Mali’s suspension from organisation; UN 10 Oct named former Italian PM Romano Prodi as Special Envoy for Sahel. Burkinabè FM and mediator Djibril Bassolé 9 Oct presented new National Movement for Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) political platform now claiming “right to self-determination” instead of “secession”. EU FMs 15 Oct commissioned plan to deploy some 150 military personnel to train Malian army. 4,000 United Front for Safeguarding Democracy and Republic (FDR) supporters demonstrated in Bamako to demand liberation of northern Mali; 2,000 Coordination of Patriotic Organisations in Mali (COPAM) supporters 18 Oct staged counter-protests against plans for foreign intervention. Armed men in military fatigues reportedly killed several Tuareg civilians near Diabaly 24 Oct; MNLA demanded explanation from Bamako. Guinean govt 17 Oct authorised arms shipment bound for Mali, previously blocked because of security concerns.

Mali

  |  1 Oct 2012

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Security situation continued to deteriorate, prompting fears of renewed conflict. President Traoré 4 Sept formally requested ECOWAS military intervention to secure transitional institutions, reclaim north; ECOWAS, transitional govt 23 Sept agreed to deploy 3,300-strong force. Demonstrators in Bamako 28-29 Sept protested against foreign intervention; international community remained divided on military intervention at UN special session on Mali 26 Sept. Security forces 8 Sept killed 16 unarmed Muslim preachers in Diabali; Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) swore to take revenge. MUJAO 1 Sept took Douentza town in central region Segou, sparking fears UNESCO-listed city Jenné could be next; 2 Sept executed Algerian diplomat Tahar Touati kidnapped in Gao (see Algeria). Human Rights Watch accused Islamists in north of becoming “increasingly repressive” in enforcement of Sharia. Islamists 15 Sept destroyed Cheikh el-Kébir mausoleum 330km north of Gao. AQIM leader Nabil Makloufi, in charge of north Mali/Sahara region, killed 8 Sept in car accident between Gao-Timbuktu. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda early Sept said mission sent to investigates war crimes/crimes against humanity. Military coup leader Captain Sanogo 26 Sept promoted to Commander; same day shoot-out in Bamako police barracks between officers reportedly upset at colleagues perceived as too close to junta injured at least 2. 

Mali

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

ECOWAS military chiefs 16 Aug agreed to send high-level political mission to Mali, Algeria, Mauritania to “facilitate” deployment/operations of 3,000-strong ECOWAS Mission in Mali (MICEMA); several countries including Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Burkina Faso and Nigeria pledged to contribute troops. ECOWAS 22 Aug urged govt to “re-establish territorial integrity”. UNSC 12 Aug called on military to refrain from interfering in political process, 10 Aug encouraged appointment of unity govt, expeditious holding of elections, expressed concern over increased terrorist threat, abuses. Negotiations over unity govt continued; 33 ministers appointed to date, including figures from previous regime; increasing worries over “Islamisation trend” following 21 Aug creation of religious affairs ministry. Burkinabé mediation team 7 Aug visited Gao, Kidal to meet MUJAO, Ansar Dine respectively. 6 convicted 28 Aug of May attack on interim President Traoré. Tensions within army continued as green berets loyal to junta leader Sanogo 2 Aug arrested elite red beret members loyal to ousted President Touré. MUJAO 5 Aug violently dispersed youth demonstrating in Gao against MUJAO intention to chop off suspected thief’s hand, 10 Aug declared itself in charge of imposing Sharia in Gao, 22 Aug announced banning of “profane music”. Niafunké residents protested mid-month against MNLA/Ansar-Dine rebels accused of setting up extortion rackets, restrictions on freedom, at least 2 injured. ICC team 31 Aug arrived to investigate possible war crimes.

Mali

  |  1 Aug 2012

Deteriorated

Interim President Dioncounda Traoré 27 July returned to Bamako, announced creation of new transitional institutions; PM Cheick Modibo Diarra 28 July refused to resign. Islamist rebel groups now control north after 11 July ousting of MNLA Tuaregs from last stronghold; MNLA said no longer seeking independent state but rather “Quebec-style autonomy”. Self-defence groups Liberation Forces of North Mali (FLN), Ganda-Koy/Ganda-Izo militias, Alliance of Timbuktu Region Communities, Armed Forces Against Occupation (FACO) and Circle for Reflection and Action (CRA) 21 July announced creation of new front to liberate North. U.S. Asst Sec for African Affairs Carson 19 July met with transitional authorities, urged authorities to accept ECOWAS intervention force. Transitional govt 9 July announced creation of 1,200-strong elite corps to safeguard institutions. Algerian security forces 23 July killed 20 suspected MUJAO militants near Tinzawaten; MUJAO 19 July freed 3 Western hostages abducted 10 months ago, still holding 4 Algerian hostages. Director of daily L’Indépendent, Saouti Haidara, arrested 12 July.

Mali

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

Support and follow-up group meeting in Abidjan 7 June demanded immediate dissolution of military junta. ECOWAS, AU 14 June called for UN military intervention; UNSC 18 June said willing to discuss backing of African intervention force. Following failure of negotiations MNLA, Ansar Dine clashed 7-8 June near Kidal, 13 June near Timbuktu. MNLA 27 June lost Gao HQ to MUJAO, Timbuktu base 29 June to Ansar Dine. Ansar Dine 18 June met with Burkina Faso president and regional mediator Blaise Compaoré, agreed to talks on crisis, 30 June destroyed several mausoleums in Timbuktu. Govt 9 June announced creation of committee for army reform incorporating junta elements.

Mali

  |  1 Jun 2012

Deteriorated Risk Alert

ECOWAS refused to accept decision by convention of pro-junta associations and parties naming Captain Sanogo as interim president at end of 40-day transition period prompting pro-junta demonstrators to storm presidential palace 21 May, wounding interim President Traoré; ECOWAS reached deal giving Sanogo status of ex-president in exchange for his acceptance of Traoré as interim president for one year. Algeria 1 May launched airstrike against Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) convoy near Tinzawaten, killed 20. New armed group, Republican Movement for Restoration of Azawad (MRRA), reportedly formed 19 May, composed of Songhai, Fulani, Tuareg and Arabs; stated aim to recover Azawad from rebels. MNLA spokesman 1 June said negotiations with Islamist militant rebel group Ansar Dine to establish Azawad Republic failed. AQIM/Ansar Dine started enforcing Sharia in Timbuktu, attacked holy Muslim Sufi site; foreign, including South Asian, fighters reportedly joined AQIM ranks mid-May. Dispute over land/grazing rights between Fula and Dogon ethnic groups along Burkina Faso border left at least 25 dead 24 May.

Mali

  |  1 May 2012

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Following widespread condemnation of March military coup, military junta 7 April transferred power to civilian govt headed by Parliament Speaker Traoré in exchange for amnesty for mutineers; confusion over who is in charge as junta mid-April arrested several high-level political figures, continued to exercise control over state media. Soldiers loyal to deposed President Touré 30 April attempted counter-coup, foiled by junta soldiers; several dead. ECOWAS 27 April announced deployment of 3,000 troops, one-year transition instead of 40 days initially agreed with junta; Captain Sanogo 29 April said violation of agreement; fears of further unrest at Kati military garrison. National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) 5 April announced end of military operations, 6 April proclaimed liberation of Azawad state; AU rejected declaration of independence; Traoré 12 April threatened to launch “total war” on Tuareg rebels and Islamist militias in North, hundreds of northern youths gathered in Bamako 6 April to demand weapons to fight rebellion; UNSG Ban 16 April said urgent action needed to address “cascading crisis in Sahel”. Following fall of Timbuktu to Islamist militia Ansar Dine and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) early April, newly-formed National Front for the Liberation of Azawad (FLNA) Arab militia 27 April said it took Timbuktu but 29 April exited city following threat of “bloodbath” by AQIM. Algerian army 29 April launched airstrike against AQIM splinter group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) responsible for 5 April abduction of Algerian diplomats in Gao, 20 dead.

Mali

  |  1 Apr 2012

Deteriorated Risk Alert

President Touré overthrown in army coup 22 March, constitution suspended; coup followed 20-21 March mutiny in Kati garrison, Feb-March protests demanding better weapons for soldiers fighting rebellion in north; Captain Amadou Sanogo named head of military junta. AU, EU condemned coup, World Bank suspended aid; political parties 24 March ordered renegade soldiers back to barracks; ECOWAS 27 March suspended Mali, heads of state visit initially scheduled 29 March postponed following pro-junta protests in Bamako. Sanogo 1 April said constitution would be reinstated. MNLA Tuareg rebels 10-11 March took strategic town of Tessalit, 31 March took Kidal, 30 March took key garrison town of Gao aided by new rebel group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), 1 April took Timbuktu; army activated Peul/Songhai self-defence militias Ganda Koy, Ganda Izo to fight rebels; Ganda Izo leader Amadou Diallo and dozen fighters killed in Tinahama late March. Govt troops reportedly beaten back at Tinzawaten, Aguelhok, Kidal by Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine, headed by 1990 Tuareg rebellion leader Iyad ag Ghaly and accused of links with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). MNLA mid-March distanced itself from Ansar Dine, said only seeking independence of Azawad, following 11 March video showing Ansar Dine assault on Aguelhok, Ansar Dine declaration of intent to impose Sharia law. Mauritanian air force 11 March launched air strike against suspected AQIM convoy near Timbuktu following exchange of hostages 10 March, 2 civilians injured.

Mali

  |  1 Mar 2012

Deteriorated

Tuareg rebellion intensified as National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) fighters 7 Feb attacked military outpost in Tinzawaten, 19 Feb attacked Hombori town, leaving 1 dead. Army 10 Feb bombarded rebels in Kidal, 14 Feb bombarded Tessalit; MNLA 29 Feb led assault to take back Tessalit. UN said over 130,000 displaced by rebellion; crisis prompted calls for postponement of presidential election scheduled 29 April. Suspected MNLA alliance with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb confirmed following summary executions of 95 govt fighters in Aguelhok 24 Jan; MNLA reiterated it has no links with terrorist group. Tuareg/Arab populations in South, Bamako fled throughout month as clashes exacerbated intercommunal tensions. France, Algeria early Feb called for immediate ceasefire, dialogue; MNLA refused.

Mali

  |  1 Feb 2012

Deteriorated

Fears regional spillover from Libyan conflict could spark new Touareg rebellion as National Movement for Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) Touareg rebels reportedly backed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and fighters who served in Libyan army staged series of attacks mid-late Jan on towns in north/north-east: govt responded by bombarding rebel position in Menaka 17 Jan; army said 45 rebels killed, 2 soldiers dead, 2,300 people fled into Mauritania. AQIM 12 Jan warned France, UK, Holland, Sweden not to attempt rescue operation for hostages in Mali, said seeking peaceful solution. Former PMs Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, Modibo Sidibe, and Mountaga Tall, announced candidacy in 29 April presidential poll.

Mali

  |  2 Jan 2012

Unchanged

Army 20 Dec announced Algerian troops crossed into northern Mali to assist in counterterrorism operations against groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM claimed responsibility for 23-25 Nov abductions of 5 Europeans which left 1 dead. Following raid by Western-Sahara Polisario separatists that saw 1 killed, 3 kidnapped, govt 17 Dec said Polisario incursions on Malian territory would no longer be tolerated. Touareg rebels 22 Dec met President Touré, said ready to work with govt.

Mali

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

Army Chief Pousiougou 21 Nov insisted on need for joint Mali, Algeria, Mauritania and Niger action against Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) at meeting of country chiefs of staff. EU aid commissioner Piebalgs 23 Nov promised govt €62mn aid to improve security in north. 2 French citizens abducted 24 Nov by suspected AQIM gunmen in Hombori, first such kidnapping south of Niger river; 3 tourists kidnapped, 1 killed 25 Nov in Timbuktu.

Mali

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

Supreme Court 13 Oct ruled against opposition Solidarity for Democracy and Independence request that it act to redress lack of opposition representation in election commission. Concern over possible Tuareg rebellion stoked by reported return of over 400 fighters from Libya, coinciding with series of rebel attacks in North.

Mali

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb reported 9 Aug to have returned to Wagadou forest near Mauritanian border. Hundreds of Tuaregs reportedly returning to Mali and Niger from fighting in Libya, raising fears of destabilisation.

Mali

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

17 killed 24 June as Malian, Mauritanian forces raided al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) camp in Wagadou, near Mauritanian border. Raid followed 13 June announcement of increased cooperation with Mauritania in fight against AQIM.

Mali

  |  1 May 2011

Unchanged

President Touré 4 Apr appointed country’s first female PM, Cisse Mariam Kaidama, following late-March resignation of Modibo Sidibe. France 19 Apr warned of “very elevated” risk of hostage-taking by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), particularly in southeast. Security services 21 Apr said AQIM building new base near Mauritanian border, promised increased vigilance.

Mali

  |  1 Feb 2011

Unchanged

Self-proclaimed al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb member 5 Jan attacked French embassy with explosive device, fired shots at building; 2 Malians injured.



Mali

  |  1 Dec 2010

Unchanged

Continued focus on 7 hostages including 5 French nationals captured in Niger Sept by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), held in Mali. France reportedly rejected 17 Nov AQIM demands for immediate withdrawal of French forces from Afghanistan; French defence minister Alain Juppe 23 Nov confirmed govt contact with AQIM kidnappers. Joint military operations launched 8 Nov in Mali-Mauritania border areas to control drug trafficking, increased Islamist activity.

Mali

  |  1 Nov 2010

Unchanged

President Touré 4 Oct stated govt not involved in any negotiations to free 7 hostages, including 5 French nationals, captured 15 Sept by al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Niger and believed to be in Mali. Reports 27 Oct cited Osama Bin Laden claiming abductions were response to France’s treatment of its Muslim minority, troops in Afghanistan. 

Mali

  |  1 Oct 2010

Unchanged

Govt 20 Sept said 2 civilians killed in Mauritanian airforce raids on suspected al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) militants in north; followed clash between AQIM, Mauritanian troops on border (see Mauritania). Mauritania 27 Sept extradited AQIM suspects to Mali.

Mali

  |  1 Sep 2010

Unchanged

Sahelian intelligence heads met in Bamako 7 Aug to strengthen cooperation, information sharing. Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) 10 Aug kidnapped 2 Malians, 1 killed 12 Aug. 2 Malians detained during July joint Mauritanian-French military operation released 12 Aug (see Mauritania). 12 Aug testimony of ex-AQIM member disclosed collusion between AQIM and some Malian officials. AQIM 23 Aug freed 2 Spanish aid workers kidnapped Nov 2009; unconfirmed reports of €3.8m ransom paid by Spanish govt and prisoner swap for Malian extradited by Mauritania.

Mali

  |  1 Aug 2010

Unchanged

Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) 11 July threatened to kill French hostage Michel Germaneau if France did not meet demands for prisoner swap. French, Mauritanian forces conducted military operation 22 July, killing 6 militants; Mali govt said not consulted. AQIM said Germaneau executed 24 July. Paris 27 July said “at war” with AQIM, French FM Kouchner same day met President Touré. Govt 1 July said Algerian forces can pursue AQIM in Mali following AQIM’s late-June killings of gendarmes in Algeria.



 

Mali

  |  1 Jun 2010

Unchanged

Sahel-Saharan military exercise, part of Pentagon’s Africa Command, took place 3-22 May involving around 1200 troops: U.S. special forces trained troops from Mali and neighbouring countries to fight al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and drugs traffickers.

Mali

  |  1 May 2010

Unchanged

Mali, neighbours 21 Apr opened joint command headquarters in Algeria to coordinate efforts to counter growing al Qaeda threat (see Algeria). Mali authorities mobilised troops after French tourist and Algerian driver kidnapped 20 Apr in Niger; Nigerien authorities suspected hostages moved to Mali; driver released 30 Apr in Mali. Italian couple held in north by AQIM since Dec released 16 Apr.

Mali

  |  1 Apr 2010

Unchanged

Tensions between Mali and Mauritania still high following Mali’s Feb release of 4 AQIM militants. Nouakchott 19 March rejected proposal to hold upcoming regional security summit in Bamako. Presidents met at sidelines of regional water summit in N’Djamena 26 March, reporting “good” relations. 1 of 3 Spanish aid workers held in north following Nov capture in Mauritania released 10 March.

Mali

  |  1 Mar 2010

Unchanged

Court in Bamako 18 Feb announced 4 suspected al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) prisoners were “legally free” after sentencing the men to time already served since detention in April, in apparent effort to save life of French AQIM hostage Pierre Camatte; AQIM in Jan had announced Camatte would be killed if prisoners were not released by 20 Feb. Releases followed series of French diplomatic visits including 1 Feb visit by French FM Kouchner to Bamako. Algeria condemned their release and Mauritania recalled ambassador in protest.

Mali

  |  1 Feb 2010

Unchanged

Main ADC Tuareg rebel group met early month in Algiers and reiterated commitment to 2006 Algiers Accords, pledged to contribute to politics and northern security. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) 11 Jan threatened to execute French hostage unless Mali release 4 AQIM prisoners within 20 days; ultimatum extended 30 Jan to unspecified date. Low-level insecurity continued, with 1 killed and several injured in 13 Jan attack by unidentified gunmen near Gao. President Touré 1 Jan announced planned referendum for 2010 to revise national “institutional architecture” and strengthen democracy.

Mali

  |  4 Jan 2010

Unchanged

In 8 Dec recorded message, al-Qaeda in Islamic Magreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for late Nov kidnapping of French national in Mali and 3 Spaniards in Mauritania; hostages allegedly held in Mali. U.S. court 19 Dec charged 3 suspected AQIM members with plotting to traffic cocaine to fund terrorism.

Mali

  |  1 Dec 2009

Unchanged

Several aid groups 18 Nov announced expat employees evacuated from north due to insecurity including AQIM attacks. French national kidnapped 25 Nov in north; authorities allege AQIM responsible. Govt 5 Nov reportedly discovered plane wreck thought linked to drug trafficking from Latin America.

Mali

  |  1 Nov 2009

Improved

Peace deal between Mali, Niger and Tuareg rebel groups, signed in Libya, announced 6 Oct by chief mediator Libyan President Gaddafi. Key Tuareg rebel leaders Ibrahim Ag Bahanga (ATMN) and Aghali Alambo (deposed head of Niger’s MNJ) laid down arms 7 Oct.

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