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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Niger and Mali Tuareg timeline of major events

Tuareg are nomadic tribesmen in the Sahara and Sahel regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Along with struggling to survive in the dry harsh climate of the desert, the Tuareg people have also been fighting for independence in Niger and Mali.


1962-64: The First Tuareg Rebellion: The Nomadic Tuareg peoples in north Mali are dissatisfied with their position in the new state and want a state of their own. The Malian government's army is much better-equipped than the rebels, and after defeating them, force Tuareg areas under military administration. This stokes resentment in these regions, and causes many Tuareg to flee to neighboring countries.

1990: Rebellion by Tuareg people in north Niger begins. The Second Tuareg Rebellion begins in June 1990 in Mali also, as separatists in the north demand their own Tuareg state. Malian President Alpha Konare grants greater autonomy to the Tuareg-heavy Kidal region, causing the conflict to die down somewhat, but hostilities continue for several years more.

1995: Ceasefire between the government and the Tuareg's Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Sahara comes into effect.

1997: The Democratic Renewal Front, a hard-line Tuareg group, signs peace accord with government.

2006: In June Mali reaches a peace agreement with Tuareg rebels seeking greater autonomy for their northern desert region.

2007: In August the Niger Government declares alert in the north, giving the army greater powers to fight Tuareg rebels who have staged deadly attacks over the past six months. A Tuareg rebellion breaks out in Niger and Mali, concentrated in Niger's northern Agadez region and Mali's northeastern Kidal Region.

2007: In December two French journalists working for the French-German TV station, Arte, arrested for interviewing Tuareg rebels.

2008: In July the Niger Government orders the charity Doctors without Borders or Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to halt all operations, reportedly over suspicions of links to Tuareg rebels.

2008: Several Malian government troops and Tuareg fighters are killed when a rebel column attacks an army post near the Mauritanian border, despite a ceasefire between the two sides.

2009: Hundreds of rebels lay down their weapons in northern Mali in a sign that military pressure and Algerian mediation may be helping end the rebellion led by Tuareg nomads.

2009: In April the Niger Government and Tuareg rebels of the Movement of Niger People for Justice (MNJ) agree to end hostilities after talks in Libyan capital Tripoli.

Tuareg are nomadic tribesmen in the
Sahara and Sahel regions of Sub-Saharan Africa
2011: After the end of the uprising in Libya, large numbers of Tuareg, who had fought for Muammar Gaddafi in the Libyan civil war, return to their home country, many heavily armed. The Tuareg rebellion is reignited in northern Mali, with the aim of establishing an independent Tuareg state called Azawad.

2012 in January Tuareg rebels exchange gunfire with Malian soldiers in a northern town.

2012 March - April Tuareg rebels enter key towns in the north of Mali after soldiers abandon positions. They seize regional capitals Kidal, Gao and then Timbuktu in a three-day offensive. The rebellion effectively controls the whole of the northern half of Mali.

2012 In April Tuareg fighters who have captured the north of the country declare an independent state called Azawad, with the city of Gao as its capital.

2013 In June a peace deal between Tuareg rebels and the government is signed, allowing the way to open for elections. The rebels agree to hand of Kidal, the town they captured following the French troops ousting of religious fighters in January.

Source: BBC and Al Jazeera

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