Mali: Two military bases under Tuareg control, they say – Danas

Mali: Two military bases under Tuareg control, they say – Danas

BAMAKO (Reuters) – New clashes broke out in northern Mali on Sunday between the army and Tuareg rebels, who took control of two military bases located in the town of Lere.

The Coordination of the Azawad Movement (CMA), which brings together the main Tuareg rebel groups in the north of the country, has been fighting the army since last month.

These conflicts are partly caused by the end of the UN peacekeeping mission (Minusma), which for years contributed to preserving the precarious balance, and whose departure in June was demanded by the junta’s army.

Fighting has intensified in recent days, with both sides seeking to seize areas vacated by UN troops in the desert center and north of the West African country.

After saying last week that it had briefly seized a military camp in Bourem, a town barely 90 kilometers from the strategic city of Gao, to make off with weapons and vehicles, the CMA announced through its spokesman on Sunday the seizure of two camps in Lere.

The Malian army has hinted through the social network X (formerly Twitter) that an attack is taking place in Lere and that a reaction is underway, without giving details.

No assessment of the conflict was mentioned by the CMA or the military.

The CMA is made up of groups that have long criticized the Malian government for neglecting the Tuareg community and are seeking independence for the desert region they call Azawad.

The 2012 uprising by Tuareg rebels has been overshadowed by Islamist groups, which carry out violent attacks on civilians and the military in Mali, as well as across countries in the West African Sahel region.

Calmed by the 2015 Algiers agreement signed with the government and pro-government militias, tensions have been reignited by the military’s takeover, thanks to two coups in two years, and by the junta’s decision, effective from 2021, to invite the Russian paramilitary group Wagner while demanded the withdrawal of French troops and then of the UN.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; French version by Jean Terzian)

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