29 May '12, 1am

Al Qaeda affiliate and Turaeg rebels merge, create breakaway state in Mali

The secular rebel group of Saharan Tuareg tribesmen known as the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) has agreed to merge with the al Qaeda-supported Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) Islamist rebel group. The new entity has declared the creation of an autonomous state in northern Mali, the Islamic Republic of Azawad. After the signing of the accord on May 26, "Colonel" Bouna Ag Attayoub, an MNLA commander in Timbuktu, told the BBC that "[t]he Islamic Republic of Azawad is now an independent sovereign state." The declaration of the breakaway state and the merger of the secular Tuareg rebel movement with the al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine have deepened the ongoing political and security crisis facing Mali since a coup shook the central government on March 22. "The Koran will be a source of the laws of the state," said Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, an MNLA spokesman, a...

Full article: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/05/turaeg_reb...

Tweets

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Ansar Dine fighters fly al Qaeda's banner in Northern Mali in late April 2012. (Source: PanAfrican News Wire ) Less than a...

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straitstimes.com 29 May '12, 10am

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