Mali's Victory: Regaining Kidal from Tuareg Rebels
Mali's military government received applause from Moscow for reclaiming Kidal, a northern town held by ethnic Tuareg separatists. The officials, attributing the region's destabilization to these separatists, lauded the recapture as a significant step towards restoring stability.
Mali's Army Triumph: Recapturing Kidal
The Malian army, through a robust operation, successfully regained control of Kidal from armed insurgents, dealing them heavy losses. Interim leader Assimi Goita emphasized this operation's aim: to restore the country's territorial integrity.
Assimi Goita's Mission Continues
Acknowledging the victory over Tuareg-dominated rebel groups on social media, Goita highlighted that despite this win, their mission remains ongoing. These rebel groups had controlled Kidal since 2014, having driven out the army.
Russian Support for Mali's Armed Forces
Commending the Malian Armed Forces' (FAMa) enhanced combat capability, the Russian Foreign Ministry hailed the complete liberation of Kidal from Tuareg groups. This victory, after a decade of anti-government forces' dominance, signifies remarkable progress, as per the Ministry's statement.
Mali's Ongoing Struggle
Since 2012, Mali has battled an Islamist insurgency, receiving substantial support from the French military, which intervened in 2013 due to escalating violence in the north. However, France withdrew its troops last year at the behest of Bamako's coup leaders, citing France's perceived shortcomings in the Sahel nation.
Evolving Security Dynamics
Ordered by military authorities, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) faces a deadline of December 31 for the withdrawal of its 15,000 peacekeepers. However, this evacuation has heightened tensions in northern Mali since August, leading to competing factions vying for control.
Escalating Tensions and and Withdrawals
The UN expedited the withdrawal of peacekeepers from Kidal's bases owing to a rapidly deteriorating security situation, similar to the events in Ber in August. FaMa reported casualties in clashes, highlighting the escalating conflict in the region.
Power Shifts and Accusations
The Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), a Tuareg coalition, accused Malian authorities of violating a 2014 Algiers ceasefire and security agreement. This violation involved attempts to take over UN peacekeeping camps, including those in CMA-controlled territory.
Rebel groups conceded to the military government's takeover of Kidal, strategically deciding to vacate the stronghold town, enabling the army's recapture, as reported by Reuters.
Regional Support for Mali
Military rulers in Burkina Faso and Niger congratulated their Malian counterparts, acknowledging the significance of Kidal's "liberation" in the fight against armed groups in the Sahel region. This milestone is seen as a historic step towards reinforcing regional security.
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