Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In Mali, the strategy of MNLA through Bamako

In Mali, the strategy of MNLA through Bamako

"The flag of the National Liberation Movement of Azawad [MNLA] floating on Kidal since Islamists are gone. Population we acquired 100%. Women and children waved flags of MNLA," assured Monday 28 January morning Moussa ag Assarid, a spokesmen of the movement. In the afternoon, he confirmed that their fighters had taken the Islamists Kidal and cities of the region, and Lere near the border with Mauritania. "A Kidal and El-Khalil, our elements are inside the city and control points of entry. We did not encounter any resistance fighters but remain cautious because it could be a cons-offensive. The operations are in progress elsewhere. "

"The recovery of Kidal war aim of the French forces and Mali, is important for the MNLA," says Pierre Boiley, director of the Center for the Study of African worlds (CEMAF). Since the launch of the offensive Serval Mali, January 11, the MNLA foot makes calls to France to participate in the intervention and re-establish its influence in northern Mali after being swept by Islamist groups armed in 2012. The rebellion secular, mainly composed of Tuareg took advantage of a spring 2012 military coup in Bamako finally take control of the north and proclaim the independence of the Azawad. But it was then removed in June 2012, various Islamist groups, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and the Mujao Touareg Ansar Eddine.


Since then, the movement has made amends. He put aside his claims to independence of northern Mali. This "original sin" of the movement has not been appreciated in the population of northern Mali, Moussa Ag Assarid recognizes. The MNLA is committed on 4 December in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), to cease hostilities and to negotiate with the Malian authorities. These negotiations have been suspended since the launch of Operation "Serval". As a result, says Moussa ag Assarid, "we said our willingness to collaborate with the French in the context of counter-terrorism." Considering themselves to attempting to defend its territory and population Malian army abuses, the MNLA has repeatedly called for the possibility of France to the household itself against armed Islamists in the northern regions of Mali.

A request that France did not openly accessed. "It's a bit difficult to work formally with the MNLA, who voiced demands for independence, while France works alongside Mali, which is a sovereign state," said Pierre Boilley. Between the lines, the MNLA was invited by France to prove himself on the field. In any case, the movement's interpretation to the words of the French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the antenna France 24, January 22, when he said: " The Touareg, when they are in their territory in northern Mali are at home and it is important to respect and consider them also as Malians like the others. " For Moussa ag Assarid, "it's official. MNLA Where is the French forces will not intervene to dislodge." Nothing says even if the Malian authorities to leave, opposed in principle to the MNLA control over the sit Azawad.

The MNLA sure, in any case, have the human and material resources to reconquer the north. "We have several thousand fighters. MNLA fighters are more numerous today than in 2012. They are under the authority of the policies they follow. They are men determined, disciplined techniques of war the desert and have the desire to preserve the people they support, "says Moussa Ag Assarid. The movement would have heavy weapons and fuel required, make sure he, for this campaign.

Expertise on the capabilities of MNLA are shared. Boilley for Pierre, the movement has benefited from the return of Ansar fighters who left Eddine. "Unlike the French forces, they know the terrain and have the desire," says the historian. For his part, Jean-François Bayart, director of research at CNRS believes that "the MNLA has no military means to regain control of all northern territories. He did not have the means to go hunt AQIM in the caves of the Sahara. "


The MNLA has opted to take a position in the cities of the far north of Mali before the Franco-Malian forces there set their sights, setting aside what he regarded until recently as a prerequisite his speech: sit with the authorities in Bamako. "We want to be in a global to a final political solution, both on the security aspect that policy," stated Moussa ag Assarid Saturday. The MNLA preferred to take the lead to ensure that the Malian army not resume walk north. "It would be tragic for the people," says Moussa ag Assarid. The most important for MLNA says Pierre Boilley is "we do not slaughter people for their skin color and we do stop the abuses of the Malian army against the Moors, Tuareg and Songhay ".

Fears of retaliation are very strong in the Tuareg population because of the hatred and mistrust that is installed between populations north and south. "In the south, there is a fierce amalgam between the MNLA, the Moors, the Tuareg and the Salafists. Population says it is the MNLA that brought the Salafists, while the Islamists have been there since 2003. It is MNLA not led them, he fought against the Mujao against the Salafists. military means without the MNLA could not resist the Islamist offensive, "said Pierre Boilley. The MNLA is convinced that if we let the Malian army secure the north of the country, it will be the "beginning of a civil war with killings Tuareg and Moors," said Moussa ag Assarid.


The MNLA does not abandon its claims to a political solution, negotiated with the Malian authorities. "If they do the work of removing Salafists, they want a minimum guarantee of an agreement or a framework for moving towards a political solution towards greater autonomy. Autonomy which was officially signed by the Malian government in 1991, "said Pierre Boilley. The movement has abandoned its independence inclinations, but would like to set up an "institutional reality and ensuring a minimum constitutional development in the region," he says. A step in this direction was made Tuesday at the donor meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Greater internal autonomy for movement would guarantee its ability to solve the problems of northern Mali, where she claims the full support of the population. "In the north, the Tuareg population overall trust him to protect them. It certainly did not agree with the majority's declaration of independence MNLA and goals of the rebellion. But she fears more the brutal imposition of power South by force, "Pierre defends Boilley.

Open as soon as possible this channel discussions between the MNLA and the Malian authorities is seen by many as a necessity. "We are ready to discuss with Bamako., But there is no progress on the issue of negotiations despite our contacts with all parties involved," Moussa Ag Asarid regrets. "The French have nothing against a dialogue between the MNLA and Bamako, but express its support to any party whatsoever would be a kiss of death, said Jean-François Bayart, but it should be encouraged."

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