Former Tuareg Separatists in Northern Mali Attacked by Army and Russian Armed Group Wagner
Former Tuareg separatists in northern Mali announced that their forces were attacked by the army and the Russian armed group Wagner on Friday.
The Azawad Movement Co-ordination confirmed on Facebook that its forces “responded to a combined attack by Fama (Mali army) and Wagner” in the city of Bir, located in the Timbuktu region (north).
Call for International Attention
“We call on the international community to witness these dangerous acts,” spokesman Muhammad al-Mawloud Ramadan said, calling the attack “a violation of all security obligations and measures.”
Response from the Malian Army
For its part, the Malian army announced it had “strongly responded” to a “hacking attempt” on its website on Friday, blaming “terrorists” for the incident.
Tuareg Separatists’ Representatives Leave Bamako
On Thursday, the former Tuareg separatists announced that all of their representatives had left Bamako for “security” reasons, deepening the rift with the ruling military council since 2020.
The Azawad Movement Co-ordination
The coordination is an alliance that includes mainly Tuareg groups seeking autonomy or independence from the Malian state.
It is one of the parties that signed a peace agreement with the government of Mali in 2015.
Deterioration of Relations and Russian Support
Relations between the military government of Mali and the former colonizer France deteriorated, and the military council turned to Russia for political and military support.
Wagner’s Presence in Mali
Wagner is openly active in Mali and 3 other African countries supporting fragile regimes in exchange for minerals and other natural resources.
In Mali, elements of Wagner provide protection for the regime, conduct military operations, oversee training and advise on the revision of mining laws and even the constitution.
The regime in Bamako claims that foreign military instructors in Mali do not belong to the Wagner group, but to the regular Russian army.