Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


1 dead in ethnic clash in Mali's Kidal

19 July 2013, 16:13

Mopti - At least one person was killed in ethnic clashes in Mali's northern city of Kidal, officials said on Friday, complicating efforts to restore order ahead of the planned presidential election next week.

The fight broke out late on Thursday between a Tuareg, the lighter-skinned ethnic group which is dominant in Kidal and whose members tried to declare independence last year, and a member of the Songhai ethnicity, a dark-skinned, sub-Saharan ethnic group whose members support the Malian state, said Mossa Ansari, a medical worker at the local health center.

Ansari said that several people were injured, though only one came to seek treatment at the health clinic.

"A Tuareg hit a Songhai. The Songhai went to go get his friends. This is how the fight started," said Ansari. "One Songhai was killed and at least one Tuareg was wounded. The body was brought to the centre, and the wounded man came to get treatment. We have been told that there are several more wounded."

French forces stationed in Kidal shot into the air to disperse the two groups, said an elected official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press.

Kidal deemed safe

Kidal is the last city in Mali that remains largely outside government control. It was seized last year by Tuareg separatists who declared independence, and briefly raised the flag of their new nation - which they call Azawad - over the city. They were driven out by Islamic extremists who were in turn pushed out by a French-led military intervention this January.

Although the French succeeded in flushing out the Islamic radicals, who are linked to al-Qaeda, they allowed the Tuaregs' National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad to return to Kidal.

For weeks leading up to a June accord, the NMLA blocked the return of Mali's government officials to Kidal. It was only last week that the governor of Kidal was able to return to resume his function, after more than a year's absence.

Malian troops have also returned to the city, accompanied by United Nations peacekeepers, though the Tuareg rebels remain armed and at-large on the outskirts of the provincial capital.

Kidal's participation in the upcoming 28 July presidential election is seen as crucial to ensuring the legitimacy of Mali's next president, but so far only one of the 28 candidates in the race have deemed Kidal safe enough for a campaign stop.

The fight between the separatists and those who back the Malian state has taken on a racial dimension in Kidal, because the city's dark-skinned inhabitants almost unanimously support the government. In June, the Tuareg rebels rounded up dozens of black residents, accusing them of collaborating with the state. Dozens more fled south.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...