Northern Mali Conflict Analysis

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Introduction The Northern Mali Conflict is best described as a civl war but has become increasingly complex since its beginnings in 2012. The conflict started as a civil war along ethnic lines and triggered by the Libyan conflict. A schism between secular and Islamic rebels served to further complicate the conflict and pose new threats to religious minorities in the region. Food shortages, rampant poverty, religious prosecution, and a politically weak Mali have resulted in hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced peoples. Foreign intervention has tried to end the conflict but has only succeeded in bring about a fragile stability to the region. This conflict analysis seeks to examine the reasons for the conflict and the possible future …show more content…
The Tuareg Rebellion began in January 2012 and ran until April of the same year with the Mouvement Nationale pour la Libération de l’Azawad(MNLA) declaring independence in the North of Mali. A free state in the North of Mali called Azawad was the ultimate objective of the MNLA but it was not recognized internationally or by the Malian government. In March, there is a military coup of the Malian government as a result of the military officers frustration with the rebellion. From June to July the Ansar Dine, formerly an Islamic ally of the MNLA, turns on the MNLA and begins to institute Islamic law as well as destroying historical monuments for religious reasons. Ansar Dine is notably allied with Al-Qaeda in Northern Africa and receives support for a number of other militant islamic …show more content…
As a result of the downfall of the Gadhafi regime in Libyan, a large number of Tuareg soldiers who served in Gaddafi’s military returned to Mali. These Tuaregs were well-trained, well-armed and would go on to from the MNLA. The MNLA is only the most recent iteration of Tuareg militancy with Tuareg rebellions occurring in Niger and Algeria as well as Mali. There have been two other major Tuareg rebellions in Mali in 1990 and 2007. The Tuaregs are nomadic people and as a result are well suited to hit and run tactics and guerrilla warfare as seen in their previous rebellions. A number of Tuareg rebels from the 2007 rebellion fled to Libyan at the end of the conflict and quickly rose to become high ranking officers in the Libyan military. After the collapse of the Gadhafi regime these officers returned to Mali to lead the latest Tuareg Rebellion, albeit with more experience in desert warfare. The original objective for the MNLA was to establish an independent state from Northern Mali, this objective as since been altered to the establishment of an autonomous region as a result of the MNLA fighting with Islamists and requiring the support of the Mali

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