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Tuaregs: A People Divided
Inhabit North and West African states: Niger, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Tunisia and Mali.
Traditionally nomadic, forced south-west by Arab conquests to become traders
Became semi-nomadic pastoralists after conquest of Timbuktu.
Cultural Identifiers: language and dress
Highly stratified, ranked, tribal society:
Causes of Ethnic Conflict
Continued on from pre-colonial era; backlash on Tuaregs by Africans due to slavery of their people.
Looting of Tuareg properties in the South, human rights abuses by Malian Army
Perceived political domination
Tensions from 1990's uprising still not resolved.
Politics/hierarchy of Tuaregs not considered in resolution
Purely military response has led to distrust, contempt and hatred.
Claims of statehood, Economic Impoverishment and disillusionment with Government.
Claims to independent statehood promised by withdrawing French colonial forces.
Tuaregs live in desert North of the country
Government corruption leading to 2012 coup.
Neglect of the North by government due to ethnic divide
Factors for Rebellion (Gurr):
Stable Neighbours and region:
Unstable region surrounding the Tuaregs and Mali in general: Tuareg origins and ethnic claims to land in surrounding regions, as well as migration/fleeing from conflict.
Ethnic Group by Smith's definition:
Rebellion Prevention Factors:
Although there is aid from multilateral institutions, that aid has faced some obstacles:
French military withdrawing, despite the wishes of Malian government and military.
Claims for limited autonomy or moderate constitutional change
Independence and greater autonomy in the north.
1990's rebellion objectives are carried through to present conflict.
1992 National Pact- Can it be revised?
Failure to enact these changes is continuing to fuel ethnic conflict.
Minorities at Risk, ‘Chronology for Tuareg in Mali’, Centre for International Development and Conflict Management, 31 December 2006, accessed 3 April 2013 from http://www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar/chronology.asp?groupId=43201
Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, Statement of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide on the Situation in Mali, Press Release 1 February 2013, United Nations, accessed 10 April 2013 from http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser/pdf/SAPG%20Statement%20on%20Mali%20-%201%20February%202013%20-%20FINAL.pdf
Robert Grenier, ‘Mali: Counter-terrorism and the benefits of doing nothing’, Al Jazeera, 11 July 2012, accessed 11 April 2013 from http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/07/20127119230807934.html
World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, Tuareg, Minority Rights Group International July 2008, accessed 3 April 2013 from http://www.minorityrights.org/5518/niger/tuareg.html
Celeste Hicks, ‘Tuareg rebels make troubled return from Libya to Mali’, 29 February 2012, BBC World News, accessed 10 April 2013 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17192212
Thomas Fessy, 'Timbuktu fears French troops withdrawal from Mali', 08 April 2013, BBC World News, accessed 5 April 2013 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22061222
Michelle Nichols, ‘U.N. Security Council asks for Mali plan within 45 days’, 12 October 2012, Reuters Online, accessed 8 April 2013 from http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/12/us-mali-crisis-un-idUSBRE89B17U20121012
Minorities at Risk, ‘Assessment for Tuareg in Mali’, Centre for International Development and Conflict Management, 31 December 2006, accessed 3 April 2013 from http://www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar/assessment.asp?groupId=43201
“There have been serious allegations of human rights violations committed by the Malian army, including summary executions and disappearances… mob lynching and looting… the armed forces have been recruiting and arming proxy militia groups to instigate attacks against particular ethnic and national groups in northern Mali… Targeting of ethnic or religious groups in an armed conflict and if such abuses are carried out in a widespread and systematic way, could constitute atrocity crimes.”
-Adama Dieng, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide
Analysis of the Group (using Smith's definition of an "ethnae")
A look at history and relevant cultural factors
Causes of Ethnic Conflict:
Claims to Statehood
Analysis through Gurr's Factors for Rebellion
Past Conflict Resolution Strategies