Mali’s Tuaregs Announce Ceasefire, Threaten to Partition the Country

Neighboring West African countries are considering war

by John Glaser, April 05, 2012

Mali’s Tuareg insurgents stepped up fighting after the military coup last month and now have declared independence in the remote north for which they’ve fought for decades. They have thus announced a ceasefire after effectively partitioning the country in two.

Whether fighting will cease is not yet clear. The leaders of the military coup are holding onto power in the south – even declaring sharia law – and neighboring West African countries, having already imposed sanctions, are meeting to decide on a possible military intervention to restore civilian rule.

Despite the instability – caused essentially by the NATO intervention in Libya last year – the United States has continued portions of economic aid to Mali. If Washington doesn’t officially categorize the rebel power-grab a military coup, they’re legally allowed to continue sending money. In addition, small teams of U.S. troops remain in the country, reportedly “on stand-by.”

“Mali has never experienced such a situation,” Mali’s U.N. Ambassador Omar Daou told the Security Council. “Our people are divided. Our country is threatened with partition.”

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