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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