Northern Mali conflict
|Northern Mali conflict|
|Part of the Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present) and the impact of the Arab Spring|
Map showing the fullest extent of rebel-held territory (January 2013), before it was re-taken by Malian and French forces
Government of Mali
National Liberation Front of Azawad (FLNA)
National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA)
Islamic Movement of Azawad (MIA)
|Commanders and leaders|
Dioncounda Traoré (since April 2012)
Amadou Sanogo (since March 2012)
Amadou Toumani Touré (until March 2012)
Sadio Gassama (until March)
El Haji Ag Gamou (until March)
Colonel Thierry Burkhard
Brigade General Gregory de Saint-Quentin
Shehu Usman Abdulkadir
Mahamat Déby Itno
Abdel Aziz Hassane Adam †
Mahmoud Ag Aghaly
Bilal Ag Acherif
Moussa Ag Acharatoumane
Ag Mohamed Najem
Algabass Ag Intalla (MIA)
Iyad Ag Ghaly
Abou Haq Younousse †
6,000–7,000 (12,150 pre-war est.)
|Casualties and losses|
(conflict with Mali Army)
115 killed (Conflict with Tuaregs)
625 killed (French intervention)
~144,000 refugees abroad
~230,000 internally displaced persons.
On 16 January 2012, several insurgent groups began Tuareg people, had taken control of the region by April 2012.
On 22 March 2012, President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état over his handling of the crisis, a month before a presidential election was to have taken place. Mutinous soldiers, calling themselves the National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR), took control and suspended the constitution of Mali. As a consequence of the instability following the coup, Mali's three largest northern cities—Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu—were overrun by the rebels on three consecutive days. On 5 April 2012, after the capture of Douentza, the MNLA said that it had accomplished its goals and called off its offensive. The following day, it proclaimed Azawad's independence from Mali.
The MNLA were initially backed by the Islamist group Ansar Dine. After the Malian military was driven from Azawad, Ansar Dine and a number of smaller Islamist groups began imposing strict Sharia law. The MNLA and Islamists struggled to reconcile their conflicting visions for an intended new state. Afterwards, the MNLA began fighting against Ansar Dine and other Islamist groups, including Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA/MUJAO), a splinter group of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. By 17 July 2012, the MNLA had lost control of most of northern Mali's cities to the Islamists.
The government of Mali asked for foreign military help to re-take the north. On 11 January 2013, the French military began operations against the Islamists. Forces from other African Union states were deployed shortly after. By 8 February, the Islamist-held territory had been re-taken by the Malian military, with help from the international coalition. Tuareg separatists have continued to fight the Islamists as well, although the MNLA has also been accused of carrying out attacks against the Malian military.
A peace deal between the government and Tuareg rebels was signed on 18 June 2013 but on 26 September 2013 the rebels pulled out of the peace agreement and claimed that the government hadn't respected its commitments to the truce. Fighting is still ongoing even though French forces are scheduled for withdrawal.
- Background 1
Tuareg rebellion (January–April 2012) 2
- Coup d'état 2.1
- Continued offensive 2.2
Islamist–nationalist conflict (June–November 2012) 3
- Battle of Gao and aftermath 3.1
- Takeover of Douentza and Ménaka 3.2
Foreign intervention (January 2013) 4
- MNLA realigns with the Malian Government 4.1
- Battle of Konna and French intervention 4.2
- In Aménas hostage crisis 4.3
- Malian northward advance 4.4
Guerrilla phase 4.5
- Reported deaths of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar 4.5.1
- U.N. Peacekeeping Force 4.6
- Chadian withdrawal 4.7
- Peace deal 4.8
End of ceasefire and renewal of conflict (September 2013-) 5
- January 2014 5.1
- February 2014 5.2
Human rights concerns 6
- Claims against Separatists and Islamists 6.1
Claims against Islamists 6.2
- Destruction of ancient monuments in Timbuktu 6.2.1
- Claims against the Malian Army and Loyalists 6.3
- Popular culture 7
- References 8
In the early 1990s Tuareg and Arab nomads formed the Mouvement Populaire de l’Azaouad/Azawad People's Movement (MPA) and declared war for independence of Azawad. Despite peace agreements with the government of Mali in 1991 and 1995 a growing dissatisfaction among the former Tuareg fighters, who had been integrated into the Military of Mali, led to new fighting in 2007. Despite historically having difficulty maintaining alliances between secular and Islamist factions the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad allied itself with the Islamist groups Ansar Dine and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and began the 2012 Northern Mali conflict.
The MNLA was an offshoot of a political movement known as the National Movement for Azawad (MNA) prior to the insurgency. After the end of the Libyan Civil War, an influx of weaponry led to the arming of the Tuareg in their demand for independence for the Azawad. The strength of this uprising and the use of heavy weapons, which were not present in the previous conflicts, were said to have "surprised" Malian officials and observers.
Though dominated by Tuaregs, the MNLA stated that they represented other ethnic groups as well, and were reportedly joined by some Arab leaders. The MNLA's leader Bilal Ag Acherif said that the onus was on Mali to either give the Saharan peoples their self-determination or they would take it themselves.
Another Tuareg-dominated group, the Islamist Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), initially fought alongside the MNLA against the government. Unlike the MNLA, it did not seek independence but rather the imposition of Islamic law (Sharia) across Mali. The movement's leader Iyad Ag Ghaly was part of the early 1990s rebellion and has been reported to be linked to an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) that is led by his cousin Hamada Ag Hama as well as Algeria's Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité (DRS).
Mali was going through several crises at once that favored the rise of the conflict:
- State crisis: the establishment of a Tuareg state has been a long-term goal of the MNLA, since it began a rebellion in 1962. Thereafter, Mali has been in a constant struggle to maintain its territory.
- Food crisis: Mali’s economy has an extreme dependence on outside assistance, which has led Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to blockade, to subdue the military junta.
- Political crisis: The mutiny led to the fall of the president.
Tuareg rebellion (January–April 2012)
The first attacks of the rebellion took place in
- "Mali's Tuareg fighters end ceasefire". AlJazeera. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
- "'"Tuareg separatist group in Mali 'ends ceasefire. BBC News. BBC. 29 November 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013.
- "Communiqué N°14-04-04-2012- Fin des Opérations Militaires". Mnlamov. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- Hirsch, Afua (22 March 2012). "Mali rebels claim to have ousted regime in coup". The Guardian (London).
- "Tuaregs claim 'independence' from Mali". Al Jazeera. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Mali Tuareg and Islamist rebels ″agree on Sharia state". BBC News. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- Flood, Zoe (29 June 2012). "Trouble in Timbuktu as Islamists extend control".
- "Mali and Tuareg rebels sign peace deal". BBC. 19 June 2013.
- "Les djihadistes s'emparent d'une ville à 400 km de Bamako" (in Français). Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "MALI UPDATE 5: Burkina Faso, Nigeria to send troops to Mali". English.ahram.org.eg. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "APA – Int'l Support Mission for Mali to begin operations on Friday". APA. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Ghana agrees to send troops to Mali". Ghana Business News. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa- 21029916 "Mali conflict: West African troops to arrive 'in days'"]. Mali conflict: West African troops to arrive 'in days'. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Ellen: Liberia Will Send Troops to Mali for Peace Mission – Heritage Newspaper Liberia". News.heritageliberia.net. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Irish, John (12 January 2013). "Niger says sending 500 soldiers to Mali operation". Reuters. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Felix, Bate (11 January 2013). "Mali says Nigeria, Senegal, France providing help". Reuters. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Aid Pledged to Mali as More Troops Deploy". Wall Street Journal. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Chad to send 2000 soldiers to Mali". Courier Mail. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "AU to hold donor conference on Mali intervention". Africa Review. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "WPR Article | Global Insider: Despite Early Successes, France’s Mali Challenge is Long-Term". Worldpoliticsreview.com. 8 March 2004. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Five more African countries pledge to send troops into Mali: Nigerian minister". NZweek. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Forces capture Gao rebel stronghold – World News". TVNZ. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Chinese army soldiers conduct first mission as peacekeepers in Mali 1612131 - Army Recognition". Armyrecognition.com. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "EU dilemma over Malian armed forces training". Euronews. 14 January 2013.
- "Mali Crisis: EU troops begin training mission". BBC News. 2 April 2013.
- "Angola: Country Makes Progress in Implementing Vienna Declaration". allAfrica.com. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Metherell, Lexi. "Australia Tips 10 million in to Mali Effort". ABC News. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- "Regering keurt steun aan militaire interventie in Mali goed (Belgium sends transport planes, helicopters and military personnel)".
- "Canada sending C-17 transport plane to help allies in Mali". cbcnews.ca. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Canadian special forces on the ground in Mali". National Post. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Mali: Comoros backs military intervention in Mali". Afriquejet.com. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Czech government approved sending troops to Mali". aktuálně.cz. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "Danmark sender transportfly ind i kampene i Mali (Denmark confirms sending transport planes to Mali skirmish)". Politiken. 14 January 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Denmark Confirms Sending Transport Planes to Mali Skirmish. Politiken, 2013.
- "Germany pledges two transport planes for Mali". Agence France-Presse. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Germany pledges third transport plane, 20m dollars for Mali The Guardian, Tuesday 29 January 2013
- "Magyarország tíz kiképzővel járul hozzá a misszióhoz" (in Hungarian). kormany.hu. 14 February 2013.
- "Defense Minister says Hungary seeking involvement in Mali conflict". politics.hu. 14 February 2013.
- "Irish and British join forces in Mali mission". The Irish Times. January 1970. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Squires, Nick (16 January 2013). "Mali: Italy to offer France logistical support". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "India pledges $100m for Mali reconstruction". The Times of India. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "India's reaction to Mali conflict differs from Syrian, Libyan crises". The Times of India. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "India pledges $1 million to UN-backed mission to Mali". Live Mint. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "India pledges USD one million to UN-backed mission to Mali". The Economic Times. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "India supports efforts at restoring order in Mali". Newstrack India. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "Japan Offers New Aid to Mali, Sahel Region". Voice of America. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Twitter / Zoeken – #afisma". Twitter. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Hilfe für Mali zugesagt". Az.com.na. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Nederlands transport voor Franse missie Mali". Nieuws.nl. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Militari români, trimiși în misiunea din Mali" (in Romanian).
- España confirma que intervendrá en Malí. Cuartopoder, 2013.
- Spain provides a transport plane.. ABC, 2013.
- "Mali aid offers pour in; Army chief sets sights on Timbuktu". Rappler.com. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "UK troops to assist Mali operation to halt rebel advance". BBC. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "US provide French air transport in Mali". US to provide French air transport in Mali. Al Jazeera. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- Par Europe1.fr avec AFP. "Mali: nouveau groupe armé créé dans le Nord". Europe1.fr. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Felix, Bate; Diarra, Adama (10 April 2012), New north Mali Arab force seeks to "defend" Timbuktu, Reuters
- El País
- "Gunfire breaks out as Tuareg rebels enter northern Mali city". The Gazette (Montreal). 31 March 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- Couamba Sylla (4 April 2012). "Tuareg-jihadists alliance: Qaeda conquers more than half of Mali". middle-east-online.com. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Traore readies to take over in Mali".
- MISNA (20 January 2012). "Mali: Fighting In North; The New Touareg War". Eurasia Review. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Mali's isolated junta seeks help to stop Tuareg juggernaut". modernghana.com. 30 March 2012.
- "French air strikes kill wanted Islamist militant 'Red Beard' in Mali". reuters.com. 14 March 2014.
- "Facts: Islamist groups present in northern Mali". Google News. Agence France-Presse. 13 January 2013.
- "L'armée française ne confirme pas la mort d'Abou Zeid". Le Monde. 28 February 2013.
- France confirms death of Islamist commander Abou Zeid
- Laurence, Norman (31 October 2012). "Europe's Response to Mali Threat". Wall Street Journal Blogs. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- Sylla, Coumba (17 January 2013). "Mali's bruised army plays second fiddle in offensive". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- "Two French journalists abducted, killed in Mali".
- "Mali army retakes key towns from rebels". Al Jazeera. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Mali conflict: Donor conference raises $455m | Inside Africa". Graphic.com.gh. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- Liberian legislature approves troop commitment to Mali Voice of America, 25 January 2013
- España enviará 30 soldados a Malí para proteger a los instructores europeosEl País:
- Czech government approves sending troops to Mali
- European Union Training Mission
- Jeremy Keenan (20 March 2012). "Mali's Tuareg rebellion: What next?". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Sofia Bouderbala (2 April 2012). "Al-Qaeda unlikely to profit from Mali rebellion: experts". The Daily Star. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "France begins Mali military intervention".
- "Analysis: French early strike shakes up Mali intervention plan". Reuters. 13 January 2013.
- 2 killed (17–19 January), 160 killed (24–25 January), 19 killed (16 February),  16 killed (24 March), 17 killed (26 March) total of 197+ reported killed
- "Des prisonniers crient leur détresse" (in French). El Watan. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Felix, Bate (12 January 2013). "France bombs Mali rebels, African states ready troops". Reuters. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Over 100 dead in French strikes and fighting in Mali". Reuters. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Al Jazeera, Rebels capture Mali government troops, Al Jazeera, 8 January 2013
- Mali's new president thanks Chad for support against Islamists
- Ten Chadian soldiers killed fighting Islamists in Mali
- "Malijet Mali : violents combats dans le massif des Ifoghas, faisant un mort côté tchadien, six côté jihadistes Mali Bamako". Malijet.com. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "Mali : le scénario de la guérilla commence à se dessiner | La crise malienne | ICI.Radio-Canada.ca". Radio-canada.ca. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "Toute l'actualité du Nord-Mali". Nord-mali.com. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "One more French soldier killed in Mali". Xinhua News Agency. July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- "Mali Guerre au Mali : Au moins 1 mort dans les rangs des Togolais". Malijet. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Malijet Mali: Le soldat burkinabè, Tounougma Kaboré, conducteur au bataillon Badenya est décédé le mercredi 13 mars 2013 à Diabali (Officiel) Mali Bamako". Malijet.com. 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "IRIN Africa | Islamists kill Nigerian soldiers heading to Mali | Nigeria | Conflict | Security". Irinnews.org. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "Official: Nigerian military plane aiding northern Mali operation crashes in Niger; 2 dead". Fox News. 2013-05-06. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "Fierce clashes between Malian army and Tuareg rebels kill 47". The Daily Telegraph (London). 19 January 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012.
- "Mali says 20 rebels killed, thousands flee". Reuters. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Heavy fighting in north Mali, casualties reported". Reuters. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Mali: au moins 35 morts dans les affrontements islamistes/Touareg à Gao" (in French). Google News. Agence France-Presse. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- "Islamists seize north Mali town, at least 21 dead in clashes". Google. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "New fighting breaks out in northern Mali". France 24. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "North Mali clashes kill dozens, some unarmed: source" Google News (AFP), 20 November 2012
- Tran, Mark (17 January 2013). "Mali refugees flee across borders as fighting blocks humanitarian aid". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Mali soldiers say president toppled in coup – Africa". Al Jazeera. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- Associated Press, "Coup Leader Reinstates Mali's Constitution", Express, 2 April 2012. p. 8.
- Baba Ahmed and Rukmini Callimachi (2 April 2012). "Islamist group plants flag in Mali's Timbuktu". Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- Serge Daniel (4 April 2012). "Mali junta denounces 'rights violations' by rebels". Google. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Tuareg rebels declare the independence of Azawad, north of Mali". Al Arabiya. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Islamists seize Gao from Tuareg rebels". BBC News. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- Nossiter, Adam (18 July 2012). "Jihadists' Fierce Justice Drives Thousands to Flee Mali". The New York Times.
- "Five Malians killed in ambush blamed on Tuareg: army". Agence France-Presse. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Mali Tuareg separatists suspend participation in peace process". Trust.org. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "France prepares to withdraw Mali troops - Africa". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- Backgrounder: Situation in Mali, Ralph Sundberg, 5 June 2012, Uppsala Conflict Data Program, http://uppsalaconflictdataprogram.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/backgrounder-situation-in-mali/
- Mali, Uppsala Conflict Data Program Conflict Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 Jan 2013, http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=103®ionSelect=1-Northern_Africa#
- Andy Morgan (6 February 2012). "The Causes of the Uprising in Northern Mali". Think Africa Press. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Mali: 47 Die in Clashes Between Troops, Rebels – Ministry". allAfrica.com. Agence France-Presse. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- Adam Nossiter (5 February 2012). "Qaddafi's Weapons, Taken by Old Allies, Reinvigorate an Insurgent Army in Mali". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Dans le nord du Mali, les Touaregs du MNLA lancent un nouveau défi armé à l'Etat". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- Ibrahim, Jibrin (26 March 2012). "West Africa: Mali and the Azawad Question". allAfrica.com. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Mali: Timbuktu heritage may be threatened, UNESCO says". BBC. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- "AFP: Islamist fighters call for Sharia law in Mali". Google. 13 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- Marc Fonbaustier, Mali: A case study of a complex African crisis, Marcfonbaustier.tumblr.com, June 2012
- "West African ECOWAS Leaders Impose Mali Sanctions". BBC. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Mali Besieged by Fighters Fleeing Libya". Stratfor. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- Rice, Xan (19 February 2012). "Mali steps up battle against Tuareg revolt". Financial Times. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "Mali capital paralysed by anti-rebellion protests". Reuters. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Contre la gestion de la crise du nord: Les élèves ont marché hier à Kati" (in French). Mali Web. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "Mali: Rebellion claims a president". IRIN. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Tuareg rebels attack Mali town of Kidal". Al Jazeera. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Malian soldiers battle Tuareg rebels in northeast: sources". Gulf Times. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "Mali govt forces fail to lift garrison town siege". Reuters. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Malian forces battle Tuareg rebels". News24. South African Press Association. 4 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- Whitlock, Craig (2012-06-13). "U.S. expands secret intelligence operations in Africa".
- "Tuareg rebels take Mali garrison town, say sources". Trust. Reuters. 11 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Mauritania denies collusion as Mali rebels advance". Reuters. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- AFP – Tue, 20 March 2012. "Armed Islamist group claims control in northeast Mali". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- Dembele, Diakaridia (21 March 2012). "Mali Military Blocks Presidential Palace After Gunshots". Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Mali army claims upper hand over rebels amid coup disarray". Agence France-Presse. 25 March 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
- "Renegade Mali soldiers declare immediate curfew | Reuters". Reuters. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Renegade Mali soldiers announce takeover". BBC. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Renegade Mali soldiers say seize power, depose Toure". Reuters. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Au Mali, le front des putschistes se fragilise". Le Monde (in French). 24 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "International condemnation for Mali coup". Al Jazeera. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "Ecowas gives Mali leaders ultimatum to relinquish power". BBC News. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "Malian coup leader to restore constitution". Al Jazeera. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- "Is Mali heading for a split?". Al Jazeera. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "International condemnation for Mali coup – Africa". Al Jazeera. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Bradley Klapper (26 March 2012). "US cuts off aid to Mali's government after coup". Associated Press. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Tuareg rebels enter key Malian town – Africa". Al Jazeera. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- "Mali awaits next step after president, coup leader resign". The Daily Star. 10 April 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "Mali's new leader threatens 'total war' against Tuareg rebels". The Daily Telegraph (London). 13 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- Lewis, David (23 March 2012). "Mali rebels advance in north, mutineers seek president". Reuters. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Robyn Dixon and Jane Labous (4 April 2012). "Gains of Mali's Tuareg rebels appear permanent, analysts say". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "Mali coup: Rebels seize desert town of Kidal". BBC News. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- David Lewis and Adama Diarra (30 March 2012). "Mali coup leader seeks help as rebels seize towns". Reuters. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "Mali Tuareg rebels enter Timbuktu after troops flee". BBC News. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- Cheick Dioura and Adama Diarra (31 March 2012). "Mali Rebels Assault Gao, Northern Garrison". Huffington Post. Reuters. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "Mali Tuareg rebels declare independence in the north". BBC News. 6 April 2012. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Les rebelles touareg en guerre contre Al Qaida au Maghreb islamique ?". Le Monde. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- "Pour libérer les otages algériens : des négociations avec Belmokhtar sont en cours" (in French). El Watan. 8 April 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Felix, Bate; Diarra, Adama (10 April 2012). "New north Mali Arab force seeks to "defend" Timbuktu". Reuters.
- "Mali Separatists Send Group to Talk to Protestors". Voice of America. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "'"Mali rebel groups 'clash in Kidal. BBC News. 8 June 2012.
- "'"Afghan, Pakistani jihadists 'operating in northern Mali. France 24. 7 June 2012.
- "Mali: Islamists seize Gao from Tuareg rebels". BBC News. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "Mali Tuareg and Islamist rebels agree on Sharia state". BBC News. 26 May 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
- "Mali: 2 Killed in Anti-Rebel Protest". The New York Times. Reuters. 26 June 2012.
- Peggy Brugiere (29 June 2012). "Backed by popular support, Mali's Islamists drive Tuareg from Gao". France 24.
- "Mali Islamists 'oust' Tuaregs from Timbuktu". News 24. Agence France-Presse. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
- Zoe Flood (29 June 2012). "Trouble in Timbuktu as Islamists extend control". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- Adam Nossiter (15 July 2012). "As Refugees Flee Islamists in Mali, Solutions Are Elusive". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- Salima Tlemçani (11 October 2012). "The limits of military intervention". El Watan (in French). Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- Brahima Ouedraogo (24 September 2012). "Mali's secular Tuareg rebels splinter, new group says independence unrealistic". The Star Tribune. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "Islamist rebels gain ground in Mali, seize control of Douentza, ousting former allied militia". The Washington Post. 1 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
- "Mali Islamists take strategic town of Douentza". BBC News. 1 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
- "UN adopts resolution on northern Mali". BBC. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "UN Security Council aims for intervention in Mali". Tapai Times, via AFP. 14 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "Security Council paves way for possible intervention force in northern Mali". United Nations. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "U.N. Security Council asks for Mali plan within 45 days". Reuters. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "UN Security Council Resolution 2085". United Nations. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- Mali : tirs de sommation sur la ligne de démarcation, Radio France Internationale. 8 January 2013
- "DRC, Mali conflicts overshadow AU summit". News24. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "French-led troops close in on Timbuktu | DW.DE | 28.01.2013". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- AP INTERVIEW: Mali's secular Tuareg rebels splinter, new group says independence unrealistic
- Al Arabiya: Tuareg rebels ready to help French forces in Mali
- Mali-based Islamists pledge attacks on French soil (Map)
- "les touaregs laïques disent avoir repris Kidal". Le Figaro. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Reports: Islamists Lose Two Cities in Northern Mali". Voice of America. 28 January 2013.
- "Mali Islamists capture strategic town, residents flee". Reuters. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
- "Mali – la France a mené une série de raids contre les islamistes". Le Monde. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Irish, John (11 January 2013). "Malian army beats back Islamist rebels with French help". Reuters. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "Mali : après la mort rapide d'un officier, l'opération militaire s'annonce compliquée". Le Monde. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "French army says no current plan to target northern Mali". Trust.org. Reuters. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "French airstrikes destroy Mali rebel command center". Panarmenian.net. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Hollande steps up France security over Mali and Somalia". BBC News. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- Felix, Bate (26 December 2012). "Malian army retakes central town from Islamists". Reuters. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "French Gunships Stop Mali Islamist Advance". Agence France-Presse. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "Mali: Hollande réunit son conseil de Défense à l'Elysée". Libération. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Gazelle Downed in French Air Raid, Soldier Killed". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "France confirms Mali military intervention". BBC News. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "France: How was it dragged into the Malian conflict?". BBC News. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- Willsher, Kim; Beaumont, Peter; Jones, Cass (12 January 2013). "Britain to send aircraft to Mali to assist French fight against rebels". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "ALERTE – Mali: un haut responsable d'Ansar Dine tué dans les combats à Konna". Romandie.com. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- BABA AHMED and RUKMINI CALLIMACHI – The Associated Press. "Northwest Herald | Hundreds of French troops drive back Mali rebels". Nwherald.com. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Alakhbar | Mali: L’aviation française bombarde les positions du MUJAO à Douentza". Fr.alakhbar.info. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "French planes strike Mali rebel stronghold of Gao". Yahoo! News. Reuters. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Mali frappes francaises sur Gao". Romandie.com.
- "Mali frappes aeriennes francaises pres de Kidal autre bastion jihadiste". Romandie.com.
- "Quatre Rafale de la BA 113 ont conduit des frappes aériennes près de Gao, au Mali" (in Français). France 3 Champagne-Ardenne.
- "France pounds Islamist strongholds in northern Mali". Channel NewsAsia.
- "Mali: plus de 60 jihadistes tués". Le Figaro.
- "Mali: attaque des islamistes sur la route de Bamako". Le Figaro.
- "Mali-based Islamists pledge attacks on French soil". France 24.
- """Mali : revivez la quatrième journée de l'opération "Serval (in French). BFM TV. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- France military says Mali town Konna 'not recaptured'
- "Canadian C-17 joins allied efforts en route to Mali". CBC News. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Wenande, Christian (15 January 2013). "Air Force cargo plane heading to Mali". The Copenhagen Post. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- europe online publishing house gmbh – europeonline-magazine.eu (20 November 2012). "Belgien stellt zwei Flugzeuge und einen Hubschrauber für Mali" (in Deutsch). Europeonline-magazine.eu. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Al Qaeda-linked group reportedly holding 7 Americans among 41 hostages after taking control of Algerian gas field". Fox News. 16 January 2013.
- Goh, Melisa (19 January 2013). "Hostages, Militants Reported Dead After Assault Ends Standoff: The Two-Way". NPR. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "'"Mali conflict: French 'fighting Islamists in Diabaly. BBC News. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Mali: Le Drian dément des combats au corps à corps... Vote du Parlement si l'opération française va au-delà de quatre mois, selon Hollande". 20 Minutes.fr. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "España ofrece un avión de transporte para la intervención en Malí". ABC. Spain. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Hirsch, Afua (17 January 2013). "Mali Islamist rebels draw closer to capital Bamako". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "L'armée malienne affirme avoir repris le contrôle de Konna". Le Monde (in French). 18 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Mali Army Secures Central Town of Konna". Bloomberg L.P. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Mali army 'regains Konna' as Nigerian troops arrive". BBC. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Residents in northern Malian town lynch Islamist: sources". Reuters. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- "Malian, French troops patrol as powers offer aid". Agence France-Presse. 20 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- "Islamists kill Nigerian soldiers heading to Mali". IRIN. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "After French Criticism, Washington Drops Payment Demand."
- "US planes deliver French troops to Mali."
- "'"Mali conflict: French troops 'enter Diabaly. BBC News. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- "French and Malian troops push northward". Al Jazeera. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- "Mali army pushes farthest east toward city of Gao". Houston Chronicle. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "Mali Troops Advance into Rebel-Held Territory". Voice of America. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "New Mali rebel faction calls for negotiations". Al Jazeera. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- Valdmanis, Richard (26 January 2013). "French forces in Mali seize airport, bridge at rebel-held Gao". Reuters. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- Formanek, Ingrid (26 January 2013). "Malian troops recapture rebel stronghold". CNN. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
- "Un dirigeant militaire d’Ansar Edine entre en dissension et rejoint le MNLA". Fr.saharamedias.net. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "BBC News – Mali conflict: French and Malian troops move on Timbuktu". BBC. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "French and Malian forces encircle Timbuktu". France 24. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- Diarra, Adama (27 January 2013). "Malians celebrate, French-led forces clear Timbuktu". Reuters. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- French-led troops in Mali control access to Timbuktu The Times of India. Retrieved 28 January 2013
- French-led troops control access to Timbuktu: military Daily News. Retrieved 28 January 2013
- Breaking News: French-led troops control access to Timbuktu: military Straits Times. Retrieved 28 February 2013
- "French and Malian forces have retaken Timbuktu". Al Jazeera. 28 January 2013.
- Opération Serval: Point de situation du 29 janvier 2013
- Ag Attaher, Mossa (30 January 2013). "Communiqué N-48/ Entrée des troupes françaises à Kidal" (in French). MNLA. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- "MALI. L’enjeu de Kidal – Le Nouvel Observateur". Tempsreel.nouvelobs.com. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Mali: l'armée tchadienne prend position à Kidal – Mali / Tchad – RFI". Radio France Internationale. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Mali conflict: Timbuktu hails French President Hollande". BBC News. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- BBC – Mali Conflict: First suicide bomber in Gao
- Adam Nossiter; Peter Tinti (9 February 2013). "Mali War Shifts as Rebels Hide in High Sahara". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Nuevos combates, más militaresEl País:
- Hollande: We are in the final phase of the operation in Mali
- "Mali rebels launch guerrilla attack on Gao". Al Jazeera. 11 February 2013.
- French soldier killed in northern Mali
- Renewed clashes break out in Mali
- "Thirteen Chadian soldiers, 65 rebels killed in Mali: Chad army". Reuters. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
- Cheick Diouara. "Five killed in Islamist car bomb attacks in north Mali". Reuters. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
- ERIC SCHMITT and SCOTT SAYARE. 22 February 2013. U.S. Opens Drone Base in Niger, Building Africa Presence. New York City: The New York Times. Retrieved, 22 February 2013. < http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/world/africa/in-niger-us-troops-set-up-drone-base.html?smid=pl-share>
- "Ten Chadian soldiers killed fighting Islamists in Mali". Yahoo!.
- Mali car bomb 'targets Tuareg checkpoint' in Kidal
- AFP (2011-11-24). "Al-Qaeda says French hostage killed in Mali - Africa". nation.co.ke. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- Mali army 'repulses' rebel attack
- French soldier killed by northern Mali roadside bomb – BBC News, 29 April 2013
- "AQMI: l'Emir l'Algérien Abou Zeïd aurait été neutralisé par les forces françaises". Algerie-Focus. 28 February 2013.
- "Francia mata al terrorista que más occidentales secuestró en el Sahel". El País. 28 February 2013.
- Chad Said to Have Killed Mastermind of Algerian Attack By ADAM NOSSITER Published: 2 March 2013 New York Times Africa on line http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/world/africa/chad-claims-to-have-killed-algeria-hostage-crisis-mastermind.html?_r=0
- 2 March 2013 Islamist militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar 'killed in Mali' BBC News Africa http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21645769
- Al Qaeda confirms Abou Zeid death in Mali France 24 March 4, 2013 http://www.france24.com/en/20130304-al-qaeda-confirms-abou-zeid-death-mali-0
- Madapolitics (2013-03-22). "Transition to Stability in Mali | Madapolitics". Madapolitics.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
- "French troops kill 11 Muslim fighters in Mali". Press TV. 25 January 2014.
- "Franco-German brigade to boost Mali security". 20 February 2014.
- Cole, Alison (17 January 2013). "Mali and the ICC: what lessons can be learned from previous investigations?". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- Afua Hirsch (15 May 2012). "Mali rebels face backlash after months of instability and violence". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Mali's worst human rights situation in 50 years". Amnesty International. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "UN Council Hammers out Condemnation of Mali Conflict". Agence France-Presse. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- George Fominyen (3 April 2012). "WFP suspends some operations in Mali after food aid looted". alert.net. Reuters. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "Mali: 200,000 flee fighting, UN World Food Programme suspends aid in north". Agence France-Presse. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "Islamists block first Mali aid convoy to Timbuktu". Reuters. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Mali Islamists to let first aid convoy enter Timbuktu". The Chicago Tribune. Reuters. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Tran, Mark (23 October 2012). "Mali conflict puts freedom of 'slave descendants' in peril". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- Adam Nossiter (30 January 2012). "Islamists in North Mali Stone Couple to Death". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
- "Mali 'thief's' hand amputated by Islamists in Ansongo". BBC News. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "Rebels burn Timbuktu tomb listed as U.N. World Heritage site". CNN. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Timbuktu shrines damaged by Mali Ansar Dine Islamists". BBC News. 30 July 2012. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Fleeing Islamists burn priceless Timbuktu library". Debka. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- "Mali coup: Tuaregs tell of ethnic attacks". BBC News. 17 May 2012.
- Massacre of preachers in Mali sign of broken army
- "Human Rights Watch: Mali's Army Killing Civilians In Town Of Niono". Huffington Post. 19 January 2013.
- "'"Mali conflict: Troops accused of 'summary executions. BBC. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Mali Gets First African Cup of Nations Win". The New York Times. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
- Voices United for Mali-'Mali-ko' (Peace / La Paix)-Français sous-titres on YouTube
- Kosner, Anthony Wing (19 January 2013). "For Music Fans, The Tragic War in Mali Has A Human Voice, Lots of Them". Forbes. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
Mali earned the first win in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations football championship on 20 January 2013 with a 1–0 win over Niger. After scoring the only goal, Seydou Keita displayed a T-shirt with a peace sign on it. A number of musicians from Mali came together to record the song Mali-ko (meaning peace) and release a video Voices United for Mali-'Mali-ko' in early 2013 about the ongoing conflict in the country. The collaboration includes many well-known Malian musicians, including Oumou Sangaré, Vieux Farka Touré, and Amadou & Mariam.
On 23 January 2013, BBC reported claims by the International Federation of Human Rights that Malian Army soldiers had carried out summary executions against people suspected of being militant, and with bodies subsequently being hastily buried in makeshift graves and wells. Some victims were reportedly killed for not having identity documents or for their ethnicity. Reportedly, dozens of ethnic Tuaregs living in Bamako had their homes raided by government troops.
On 19 January, Human Rights Watch report killings and other human rights abuses committed by the Malian army in the central Malian town of Niono. Tuaregs and Arabs were especially targeted.
An incident arose on 8 September 2012 when a group of Malian soldiers detained 17 unarmed Tablighi preachers from Mauritania in Dogofry, north-east of Diabaly, while en route to a religious conference in Bamako and executed all but one of them without reporting to their own command. The Malian government expressed its condolences for the event, which Associated Press considered a symptom of the disintegration of discipline and command in the Malian Army as a result of the 21 March Coup.
The Tuaregs and Arabs who lived in Bamako and elsewhere in southern Mali were subjects of a rash of ethnic attacks by black Malians (as opposed to Mediterranean Arabs and racially mixed Tuaregs), despite many of them being hostile to Azawad separatism as well as the Islamists. In fact, a large part of them actually had only recently arrived to the government-held south, fleeing the violence in the north.
Claims against the Malian Army and Loyalists
On 28 January 2013, as French-led Malian troops captured the airport of the world heritage town of Timbuktu, the Ahmed Baba Institute, host of priceless ancient manuscripts, was razed by fleeing Islamists.
During the conflict, Islamists also damaged or destroyed a number of historical sites on the grounds that they said were idolatrous, particularly in Timbuktu, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On 4 May 2012, Ansar Dine members reportedly burned the tomb of a Sufi saint. In late June, Islamists attacked several more sites in Timbuktu with pickaxes and shovels.
Destruction of ancient monuments in Timbuktu
On 29 July 2012, a couple was stoned to death by Islamists in Aguelhok for having children outside of marriage. An official reported that many people left the town for Algeria following the incident. On 9 August, Islamist militants chopped off the hand of an alleged thief in the town of Ansongo, despite a crowd pleading with the militants for mercy.
Ansar el Dine also blocked a humanitarian convoy bringing medical and food aid from reaching Timbuktu on 15 May, objecting to the presence of women in the welcoming committee set up by city residents; after negotiations, the convoy was released on the following day. The group reportedly banned video games, Malian and Western music, bars, and football in Gao and ransacked alcohol-serving establishments in both Gao and Kidal. Islamist forces were also reported to have intervened against looters and ordered women to wear Temedt claims that ex-slaves were the first targeted for punishment by Islamist forces and that former masters have used the violence to recapture ex-slaves.
Claims against Islamists
On 3 April 2012, armed groups looted 2,354 tons of food from United Nations' World Food Programme's warehouses in Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu, causing the WFP to suspend its operations in northern Mali. Other targets of looting included hospitals, hotels, government offices, Oxfam offices and the offices and warehouses of other unnamed aid groups. The WFP also stated that 200,000 had so far fled the fighting, predicting that the number would rise.
Claims against Separatists and Islamists
Following several reports of abuse from both sides, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened a case investigating war crimes in Mali on 16 January 2013. This case is the quickest any ICC investigation has begun after foreign military intervention.
Human rights concerns
On 20 February, Germany and France announced the shipment of elements of the Franco-German brigade to Mali to help train Mali troops. This is the first deployment of EU troops in Africa.
The MNLA ended the ceasefire in September of the same year after government forces opened fire on unarmed protesters. Following the attack, MNLA vice-president Mahamadou Djeri Maiga remarked: "What happened is a declaration of war. We will deliver this war. Wherever we find the Malian army we will launch the assault against them. It will be automatic. The warnings are over." One of the MNLA's founders, Attaye Ag Mohamed, was also quoted as saying that the "political and military wings of the Azawad" had declared "the lifting of the ceasefire with the central government".
End of ceasefire and renewal of conflict (September 2013-)
A peace deal between the government and Tuareg rebels was signed on 18 June 2013.
On 14 April, Chadian president Idriss Déby Itno announced the full withdrawal of Chadian Forces in Mali (FATIM), saying that face-to-face fighting with Islamists is over, and the Chadian army does not have the skills to fight a guerilla-style war. This announcement comes days after a suicide bomber killed four Chadian soldiers in Kidal, where 1,800 of its soldiers are currently stationed. According to local sources, Chadian forces have already begun to withdraw troops prior to the formal announcement, including a mechanised battalion.
Now that the bulk of the conflict is over and the need for extended military involvement is decreasing, France looks to the UN to take over with the peacekeeping force that had been suggested earlier in the conflict once it was a more stable situation. The operation was termed MINUSMA.
U.N. Peacekeeping Force
On 4 March 2013, Al Qaeda's North African branch confirmed the death of Abou Zeid, but denied that Belmokhtar had been killed. On 23 March, France confirmed Abou Zeid had been killed, based on DNA tests.
On 2 March 2013, it was reported that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, mastermind of the In Amenas hostage crisis in which 800 hostages had been taken and 39 Westerners killed at an Algerian oil refinery, had been killed as well. Chadian state television announced that "Chadian forces in Mali completely destroyed the main jihadist base in the Adrar de Ifhogas mountains... killing several terrorists including leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar", according to a BBC report. BBC correspondent Thomas Fessy said this would be a major blow if confirmed.
On 28 February, Algerian television informed that Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, one of the three top men of AQIM and deemed responsible of several kidnappings of westerners in the Sahel in the 2000s, had been killed in battle against Franco-Chadian forces in the Tigharghar mountains along with about 40 of his followers, some kilometres away from Aguelhok. The information was neither confirmed nor denied by the French Army.
Reported deaths of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar
On 29 April, a French paratrooper was killed by a roadside bomb in Northern Mali, the sixth French soldier to die in the conflict. Two others were seriously injured.
On 30 March, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a Malian army checkpoint in Timbuktu, allowing a group of jihadists to infiltrate by night. By 1 April, with the help of a French army detachment supported by war jets, the Malian army pushed the jihadists out of the city center.
On 23 March, Islamist fighters from MUJAO attacked the city of Gao, causing heavy fighting for two hours. The Malian army eventually repulsed this attack.
On 20 March, AQIM claimed to have executed a French hostage in Mali, Phillipe Verdon, who had been kidnapped in 2011.
On 26 February, a car bomb exploded in Kidal targeting a MNLA checkpoint. At least 7 MNLA fighters along with the suicide bomber were killed in the attack.
On 24 February 28 Islamists and ten Chadian soldiers were killed while fighting in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains in Northern Mali.
U. S. President Obama announced on 22 February 2013 that about 100 American troops had been sent to Niger, which borders Mali, to aid the French in Mali. The most recent U. S. troops were sent to help set up a new air base, from which to conduct surveillance against Al Qaeda. 40 U. S. Air Force logistics specialists, intelligence analysts and security officers arrived in the capital of Niger on 20 February 2013, bringing the total Americans deployed in Niger to 100.
On 22 February 13 Chadian soldiers and 65 Islamist where killed during heavy fighting in the northern mountains. The same day two suicide bombers crashed their cars into the MNLA's local operations center in the town of in Khalil, killing 5 people including 3 MNLA fighters and both bombers.
Gao was attacked a second time on 20 February. Islamists again crossed the Niger and came close to the city hall, possibly with help from locals. The same day, a car bomb exploded in Kidal killing two people. The fighting in Gao subsided after five Islamists were killed by Malian soldiers.
On 19 February, Islamists attacked a French parachute regiment of 150 soldiers supported by a heavy vehicle patrol and Mirage fighter jets. One French commando, a sergeant, was killed and so were 20 Islamist militants.
Between 8 and 10 February, MUJAO – who had been harassing government forces from the outskirts since Malian and French forces took the city on 26 January – launched the first two suicide attacks of the war in Gao, resulting in the death of the two bombers and injuring a Malian soldier and a civilian. Islamist fighters armed with AK-47s then crossed the Niger River on canoes, took over an abandoned police station and deployed snipers in nearby buildings in anticipation of the government forces' counterattack. The situation was controlled by pro-government forces after heavy fighting which included an air attack on the police station by French helicopters.
Islamist and Tuareg forces were reported to have retreated to the Adrar des Ifoghas, rugged badlands in northeastern Mali. Knowledge of and control over local sources of water is expected to play a vital role in continuing conflict in that area. On 19 February, France began a new operation (Panther) intended to subdue the region.
On 8 February, French and Chadian troops announced that they had occupied Tessalit near the Algerian border, the seat of one of the last airports still not controlled by the Malian government and its allies.
On 5 February, according to Chadian news stations, 24 Chadian soldiers were killed and 11 were wounded when they were ambushed by jihadists during a patrol north of Kidal. The information was neither denied nor confirmed by Chadian and Malian authorities. However, the Chadian government did mention that 11 soldiers were injured in a "traffic accident" north of Kidal.
On 2 February, Chadian troops from MISMA reached Kidal and stationed in a deserted base in the city. Their general said that they had no problem with the MNLA and had good relations with them. On the same day, the French President, François Hollande, joined Mali's interim President, Dioncounda Traoré, in a public appearance in recently recaptured Timbuktu.
On 30 January, French reached Kidal airport. No Malian soldiers were with them, as a confrontation with Tuaregs was feared. The town was reportedly under control of fighters from both the MNLA and MIA. The MNLA, however denied any collaboration or even a desire to collaborate with the MIA, and stated that their fighters were maintaining control of the town alongside French forces. Many leaders of Ansar Dine left Iyad Ag Ghali. Delegations from the MNLA and MIA left for Ouagadougou to negotiate with Malian officials.
On 29 January, the first non-Malian African troops entered North Mali. Nigerien soldiers occupied Ansongo and Chadian troops, Ménaka. The more numerous Chadian Army was also reported as moving north from Ménaka in support of the Malian Army.
On 28 January, the MNLA took control of Kidal with the help of the Islamic Movement of Azawad (MIA), an Ansar Dine breakaway group that split after the international intervention. The MNLA also took control of the towns of Tessalit and in Khalil. Apparently, fighters who deserted the MNLA for the better financed Ansar Dine were now returning to the MNLA. Islamists were reported to have fled to the mountains.
On 27 January, French and Malian forces encircled Timbuktu and began securing the city. After gaining the airport on 27 January, the next day, Malian and French military sources claimed that the entire area between Gao and Timbuktu was under government control and access to the city was available. The city was fully taken by French and Malian forces by the next day.
A new split happened in Ansar Dine, with one of its commanders in Léré, Kamou Ag Meinly quitting the group and joining the MNLA.
On 26 January, French Special Forces took over the airport and an important bridge in the city of Gao which remained largely Islamist-held. The troops reported "harassment" from Islamist forces but no solid resistance to their operations. The city was taken by a French backed Malian force later that day.
On the evening of 24 January Malian soldiers took control of Hombori. On the same day a splinter group of Ansar al-Dine, calling itself the Islamic Movement for Azawad (MIA), stated that it wanted to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict and urged France and Mali to cease hostilities in the north in order "to create a climate of peace which will pave the way for an inclusive political dialogue".
On 21 January French and Malian troops entered Diabaly without resistance. Douentza was also taken on the same day.
On 20 January, the United States denied that they had attempted to bill the French for American support in the conflict. USAF C-17s began to fly in French troops and supplies the next day.
Reports came out on 19 January that residents of Gao had lynched Aliou Toure, a prominent Islamist leader and the MOJWA police commissioner of the city, in retaliation for the killing of a local journalist, Kader Toure. AFP cited local reports saying that the Islamists were beginning to leave other areas under their control to seek refuge in the mountainous and difficult-to-access Kidal Region. On the same day, two Nigerian soldiers were killed and five were injured by Islamists near the Nigerian town of Okene as they were heading toward Mali.
On 18 January, the Malian Army released a statement claiming to have complete control of Konna again. The claim was confirmed by residents of Konna as well as a spokesman for Ansar al-Dine. The same day, rebels were driven out of Diabaly according to multiple local sources.
On 17 January, Banamba was put on alert after Islamists were reportedly spotted near the town. The Malian army immediately deployed 100 soldiers to the town, which were reinforced later. A convoy of Islamists reportedly left Diabaly and was heading towards Banamba on the same day, but no fighting ultimately took place in the town.
On the same day, the government of Spain approved the dispatch of one transport aircraft to Mali for the purposes of logistical and training support. Meanwhile, the government of Germany authorized the contribution of two Transall C-160 transport aircraft to ferry African troops into the capital Bamako. Likewise, the government of Italy pledged air transport-based logistical support.
On 16 January, French special forces, along with the Malian army, began fighting small and mobile groups of jihadists inside the city of Diabaly, but the French defense minister has denied the presence of French troops fighting in Diabaly.
Malian northward advance
On 16 January, it was reported that a group of AQIM militants had crossed the border from Mali into Algeria and had captured an Algerian/Statoil/BP-owned natural gas field, In Aménas, near the border with Libya. The militants were reported to have killed two foreign nationals and were holding 41 foreign nationals hostage, and a spokesman for the group said that the purpose of the attack was to get revenge on the countries that had intervened in Mali. The hostages reportedly included several American, Japanese, British, Romanian,Filipino and Norwegian citizens. Algeria was reportedly negotiating with the militants to try and obtain the hostages' release. On 19 January 11 militants and 7 hostages were killed in a final assault to end the standoff. In addition, 16 foreign hostages were freed, including 2 Americans, 2 Germans, and 1 Portuguese.
In Aménas hostage crisis
On 15 January, the French defense minister confirmed that the Mali military had still not recaptured Konna from rebel forces, despite earlier claims that they did. Meanwhile, the Royal Canadian Air Force dispatched a C-17 transport plane to Mali in a similar role as those of the British C-17s. The Danish Parliament decided to contribute a C-130 transport plane and the Belgian government made the decision to send two C-130s along with one Medical Component Agusta A109 Medevac medical evacuation helicopter along with 80 support personnel to Mali.
On 14 January, the Islamists attacked the city of Diabaly 400 km north of Bamako, in the government-held areas. They came from the Mauritanian border where they fled to avoid the airstrikes. The AQIM leader known as Abu Zeid was leading the operation. On the same day, Islamists pledged to launch attacks on French soil. Jihadists took control of Diabaly a few hours after their attacks.
It was reported that following the strikes which destroyed their bases, the MUJAO forces left Gao. Residents reported that 60 Islamists died in the Gao airstrikes. Some other were hiding in the houses and picked the dead bodies during the night.
On 13 January, regional security sources announced the death in Konna of Abdel Krim nicknamed "Kojak", a high level leader in the Ansardine group. French defense minister Le Drian said that new airstrikes were ongoing in Mali, happened during the last night and will happen the next day as well. A resident of Léré told that airstrikes had been conducted in the area. The airstrikes were concentrated on three areas, Konna, Léré and Douentza. Two helicopters were seen attacking Islamist positions in Gao. A dozen strikes targeted the city and its outskirts. A resident reported that all Islamist bases around Gao had been taken out of operation by the strikes. An Islamist base in Kidal was targeted by the French air force. French defence minister Le Drian, announced that four Rafale fighters had participated in the Gao airstrikes. They left France and are now based in Chad.
On 12 January the British government announced that it was deploying two Royal Air Force C-17 transport planes in a non-combat role to ferry primarily French but also potentially African forces into Mali.
In the wake of the French deployment, ECOWAS said that it had ordered troops to be deployed immediately to Mali, the UN Security Council said that the previously planned UN-led force would be deployed in the near future, and the European Union said it had increased preparations for sending military training troops into Mali. The MNLA also offered to join the offensive against the Islamists.
During the night of 11 January 2013, the Malian army, backed by French troops, claimed it had regained control of the town of Konna, and claimed to have killed over 100 Islamists. Afterwards, a Malian lieutenant said that mopping up operations were taking place around Konna. AFP witnesses had seen dozens of Islamist corpses around Konna, with one saying he counted 46 bodies. The French stated four rebel vehicles were hit by their airstrikes, while the Mali Army claimed nearly 30 vehicles were bombed. Several dozens of Malian soldiers and 10 civilians were also killed. A resident of Gao, the headquarters of the MOJWA, said that the city's hospital had been overwhelmed with dead and wounded. In all, one local resident counted 148 bodies around Konna.
The following day, the French military launched Opération Serval, intervening in the conflict. According to analysts, the French were forced to act sooner than planned because of the importance of Sévaré military airport, located 60 km south of Konna, for further operations. The operation included the use of Gazelle helicopters from the Special forces, which stopped an Islamist column advancing to Mopti, and the use of four Mirage 2000-D jets of the Armée de l'Air operating from a base in Chad. 12 targets were hit by the Mirages during the night between the 11th and the 12th. The French chief of army staff, Édouard Guillaud, announced that the Islamists had withdrawn from Konna and retreated several dozen of kilometres into the north. The air strikes reportedly destroyed half a dozen Islamist armed pick-up trucks and a rebel command center. One French pilot, Lieutenant Damien Boiteux, was killed after his attack helicopter was downed by ground fire during the operation.
On 10 January 2013, Islamist forces captured the strategic town of Konna, located 600 km from the capital, from the Malian army. Later, an estimated 1,200 Islamist fighters advanced to within 20 kilometers of Mopti, a nearby Mali military garrison town.
Battle of Konna and French intervention
After the declaration, the MNLA re-engaged the Islamist forces, and, with the help of one defecting Islamist faction, retook the cities of Tessalit and Kidal (the site of earlier pro-MNLA protests against the Islamists) in late January.
By December, the now displaced MNLA began peace talks with the Malian government and relinquished its previous goal of Azawadi independence in favor of a request for self-rule within Mali. After the French entry in January 2013, the MNLA spokesman in Paris, Moussa Ag Assarid (who had criticized the splinter group FPA months earlier for giving up on independence) declared that the MNLA was "ready to help" their former opponents in the fight against the Islamists. At this time, the MNLA controlled no big localities and was only strong in rural and desert areas near the borders with Mauritania, Algeria and Niger, having been driven off from most of its claimed territory by Islamist groups.
MNLA realigns with the Malian Government
On 27 January, the African Union held a summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Outgoing AU chairperson Thomas Boni Yayi, the president of Benin, told fellow leaders their response to conflict in Mali had been too slow, and thanked France, the country's former colonial ruler, for taking the lead in its military intervention there. African leaders are expected to stay behind for a donor conference on 29 January to drum up support for the African-led mission in Mali. After the meeting, the AU gave its member countries one week to deploy ground troops to Mali.
On 8 January 2013, rebels were reported by Al Jazeera to have captured 12 Malian government troops near the town of Konna. On the same day, RFI reports that governmental troops fired warning shots and slightly progressed from Konna toward Douentza.
While authorising the planning of force, and dedicating UN resources to this planning, UN Security Council Resolution 2071 does not authorize the deployment of force. However, UN Security Council Resolution 2085, passed on 20 December 2012, "authorizes the deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) for an initial period of one year."
Following requests from both the Mali government and ECOWAS for foreign military intervention, on 12 October 2012 the United Nations Security Council unanimously, under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, passed a French resolution approving an African-led force to assist the army of Mali in combating the Islamist militants. The resolution gave 45 days for "detailed and actionable recommendations" for military intervention which would be drafted by ECOWAS and the African Union, with a figure of 3,000 proposed troops reported. A prior ECOWAS plan had been rejected by diplomats as lacking sufficient detail.
Foreign intervention (January 2013)
On 19 November 2012, MOJWA and AQIM forces took over the eastern town of Ménaka, which had previously been held by the MNLA, with dozens of fighters from both sides and civilians killed. On the first day of fighting, the MNLA claimed its forces killed 65 Islamist fighters, while they suffered only one dead and 13 wounded. The Islamists for their part stated they killed more than 100 MNLA fighters and captured 20.
On 16 November 2012, Tuareg MNLA forces launched an offensive against Gao in an attempt to retake the town. However, by the end of the day, the Tuaregs were beaten back by the MOJWA forces after the Islamists laid an ambush for them. A Malian security source said that at least a dozen MNLA fighters were killed while the Islamists suffered only one dead. An MNLA official stated that their forces killed 13 MOJWA fighters and wounded 17, while they suffered only nine wounded.
On 1 September 2012, MOJWA took over the southern town of Douentza, which had previously been held by a Songhai secular militia, the Ganda Iso. A MOJWA spokesman said that the group had had an agreement with the Ganda Iso, but had decided to occupy the town when the militia appeared to be acting independently, and gained control of the town following a brief standoff with Ganda Iso. Once MOJWA troops surrounded the city, the militia reportedly surrendered without a fight and were disarmed.
Takeover of Douentza and Ménaka
As of October 2012, the MNLA retained control of the city of Ménaka, with hundreds of people taking refuge in the city from the rule of the Islamists, and the city of Tinzawatene near the Algerian border. In the same month, a splinter group broke off from the MNLA; calling itself the Front for the Liberation of the Azawad (FPA), the group stated that Tuareg independence was no longer a realistic goal and that they must concentrate on fighting the Islamists.
On 26 June 2012, the tension came to all-out combat in Gao between the MNLA and MOJWA, with both sides firing heavy weapons. MNLA Secretary General Bilal ag Acherif was wounded in the battle. The MNLA were soon driven from the city, and from Kidal and Timbuktu shortly after. However, the MNLA stated that it continued to maintain forces and control some rural areas in the region.
Protests broke out on 26 June 2012 in the city of Gao, the majority of whose people are not Tuaregs (as opposed to the MNLA), but rather sub-Saharan groups such as the Songhay and Fula peoples. The protestors opposed the Tuareg rebels and the partition of Mali. Two were killed as a result of the protests, allegedly by MNLA troops. The protesters used both Malian and Islamist flags, and France 24 reported that many locals supported the Islamists as a result of their opposition to the Tuareg nationalists and the secession of Azawad.
Clashes began to escalate between the MNLA and the Islamists after a merger attempt failed, despite the signing of a power-sharing treaty.
Battle of Gao and aftermath
In early June, Nigerien president Mahamadou Issoufou stated that Afghan and Pakistani jihadists were training Azawadi Islamist rebels.
The MNLA clashed with protesters in Gao on 14 May, reportedly injuring four and killing one. On 6 June, residents of Kidal protested against the imposition of Sharia in the town and in support of MNLA, protests which were violently dispersed by Ansar Dine members. By the night of 8 June, MNLA and Ansar Dine rebels clashed against each other in the city with automatic weapons, with two dying in the skirmish.
On 5 April 2012, Islamists, possibly from AQIM or MOJWA, entered the Algerian consulate in Gao and took hostages. The MNLA succeeded in negotiating their release without violence, and one MNLA commander said that the movement had decided to disarm other armed groups. On 8 April, a mostly Arab militia calling itself the National Liberation Front of Azawad (FNLA) announced its intention to oppose Tuareg rule, battle the MNLA, and "return to peace and economic activity"; the group claimed to consist of 500 fighters.
After the withdrawal of Malian government forces from the region, former co-belligerents Ansar Dine, MOJWA, and the MNLA soon found themselves in conflict with each other as well as the populace.
Islamist–nationalist conflict (June–November 2012)
On 6 April 2012, stating that it had secured all of its desired territory, the MNLA declared independence from Mali. However, the declaration was rejected as invalid by the African Union and the European Union.
On 30 March 2012, the rebels seized control of Kidal, the capital of Kidal Region, as well as Ansongo and Bourem in Gao Region. On 31 March, Gao fell to the rebels, and both MNLA and Ansar Dine flags appeared in the city. The following day, rebels attacked Timbuktu, the last major government-controlled city in the north; they captured it with little fighting. The speed and ease with which the rebels took control of the north was attributed in large part to the confusion created in the army's coup, leading Reuters to describe it as "a spectacular own-goal".
During the uncertainty following the coup, the rebels launched an offensive with the aim of capturing several towns and army camps abandoned by the Malian army. Though the offensive ostensibly included both the MNLA and Ansar Dine, according to Jeremy Keenan of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, Ansar Dine's military contribution was slight: "What seems to happen is that when they move into a town, the MNLA take out the military base – not that there's much resistance – and Iyad [ag Aghaly] goes into town and puts up his flag and starts bossing everyone around about Sharia law."
Côte d'Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, who was the rotational chairman of ECOWAS, said that once the civilian government was restored an ECOWAS stand-by force of 2,000 soldiers could intervene against the rebellion. Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore was appointed as a mediator by ECOWAS to resolve the crisis. An agreement was reached between the junta and ECOWAS negotiators on 6 April, in which both Sanogo and Touré would resign, sanctions would be lifted, the mutineers would be granted amnesty, and power would pass to National Assembly of Mali Speaker Diouncounda Traoré. Following Traoré's inauguration, he pledged to "wage a total and relentless war" on the Tuareg rebels unless they released their control of northern Malian cities.
The coup was "unanimously condemned" by the international community, including by the United Nations Security Council, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the latter of which announced on 29 March that the CNRDR had 72 hours to relinquish control before landlocked Mali's borders would be closed by its neighbours, its assets would be frozen by the West African Economic and Monetary Union, and individuals in the CNRDR would receive freezes on their assets and travel bans. ECOWAS and the African Union also suspended Mali. The U.S., the World Bank, and the African Development Bank suspended development aid funds in support of ECOWAS and the AU's reactions to the coup.
The next morning, Captain Amadou Sanogo, the chairman of the new National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and State (CNRDR), made a television appearance in which he announced that the junta had suspended Mali's constitution and taken control of the nation. The mutineers cited Touré's alleged poor handling of the insurgency and the lack of equipment for the Malian Army as their reasons for the rebellion. The CNRDR would serve as an interim regime until power could be returned to a new, democratically elected government.
On 21 March 2012, soldiers dissatisfied with the course of the conflict attacked Defense Minister Sadio Gassama as he arrived to speak to them. They then stoned the minister's car, forcing him to flee the camp. Later that day, soldiers stormed the presidential palace, forcing Touré into hiding.
The rebels advanced to about 125 kilometers away from Timbuktu and their advance was unchecked when they entered without fighting in the towns of Diré and Goundam. Ansar Dine stated that it had control of the Mali-Algeria border.
On 4 March 2012, a new round of fighting was reported near the formerly rebel-held town of Tessalit. The next day, three Malian army units gave up trying to lift the siege. The 
On 1 February 2012, the MNLA took control of the city of Menaka when the Malian army operated what they called a tactical retreat. The violence in the north led to counter protests in the capital city of Bamako. Dozens of Malian soldiers were also killed in fighting in Aguelhok. On 6 February, rebel forces attacked Kidal, a regional capital.