The North of Mali is hit severely by the Touareg rebellion, started by the MNLA (Mouvement National de la Libération de l’Azawad) on January 17th this year.
Touaregs, soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in the Northern territories over the past few months. Crimes against humanity have been committed and about a hundred thousand people have fled away from their home grounds, many of them seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
I have several Touareg friends.
Whereas some of them blame the government for all the suffering the Touareg-population is experiencing, others are feeling unhappy that the MNLA has started this rebellion that is affecting the lives of the entire population in the North, with side-effects being experienced all over the country.
Lots is going on, but I do not have the impression that this rebellion is bringing together the Touareg-population. On the contrary, I would say. Definitely not all of them are dreaming of an autonomous Azawad.
One thing I’m wondering:
Even if the rebels would succeed in forcing the Malian government to an autonomous Azawad, why would a nomadic tribe – that does not want to be limited– want to create even more borders..?
The war being fought knows no winners.
Not now, not in the end.
* The Touareg-population is a minority in large parts of the Northern Malian territories. Amongst others Sonrhai, Bella and Fulani also reside in the North.