The internecine battles among Cambodia scholars and human rights advocates are among the bloodiest cases of academic fratricide I have ever experienced. Claiming that Kiernan had supported the Khmer Rouge in an undergraduate article in , they attacked his credentials to lead the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale.
They ignored the fact that in , Kiernan had publicly said he was wrong something many have yet to do and has spent the past twenty years documenting the crimes of the Pol Pot regime. Ben was untenured at the time of the attacks, and they were aimed not only at his work to document the crimes of the Khmer Rouge, but also at wrecking his professional career.
Fortunately, he withstood them, and they did not succeed. I was surprised when he sent me a reply saying that he had subsequently discussed the idea with the U. It has paralyzed the will of thousands of lawyers. It is true that most of the Khmer Rouge killings were political, so not technically genocide.
In late , David Hawk called me, and asked me to solicit a contribution from CWS so that we could travel together to Phnom Penh to begin the project I had proposed to him in I was delighted, wrote the letter to CWS, which gave us funding, and then I obtained visas that enabled us to travel through Vietnam to Cambodia. We traveled to Phnom Penh together in the spring of , and obtained the permissions necessary to collect the evidence we needed. Hawk later established his own separate Cambodian Documentation Commission. And Ben Kiernan finished his Ph.
In , we worked together in Australia to get the Australian government to take the case. In the U. In we discovered the Cambodian equivalent of the yellow star.
Being a cultural anthropologist with a keen sense of the importance of symbols, I asked what people wore during the evacuation. Black clothing and head scarves, we were told. We had discovered the equivalent of the Nazi yellow star. Chris Munger, a professional filmmaker, accompanied me on one of my trips in the summer of , and his steady hand on the video camera produced tapes that I hope will someday be made into a documentary film about the Cambodian genocide.
The Cambodian Genocide Project won a grant from the United States Institute of Peace to produce a rough cut of a film, but we have never secured adequate funding to complete the film. I have turned over all the videotape to the Cambodian Genocide Program at Yale, and also have originals, so I still hope a documentary filmmaker will be able to use the witness testimony we collected. Leo and Hilda Kuper became the most important influences on my thinking about genocide. Leo was not only a great sociologist and lawyer, but also a wonderful mentor. I loved to go for walks with him and their dog in the California sunshine.
Hilda, a fellow anthropologist, also shared my love of poetry, which she wrote beautifully both in English and in Siswati I was later told in Swaziland. Hilda and I discussed Swazi rituals, and I later became a Fulbright Professor of Law in Swaziland, where I was able to help arrange an invitation for Hilda to make a triumphal return to her anthropological homeland, where she was quite literally royally received. Leo invited me to become the American vice president of International Alert Against Genocide, an organization based in London that he had helped found.
Leo became disappointed that International Alert mostly held academic conferences and had never issued an International Alert against a genocide. He was convinced that a new organization was needed for early warning and political action to prevent and stop genocide. I never gave up the idea and established Genocide Watch in , though it would be far more effective if it were part of Human Rights Watch. It was created in order to organize the International Campaign to End Genocide, which I will describe in more detail below.
In , I spent part of the summer in Australia attempting to convince the Department of Foreign Affairs to take the case to the World Court. Australia was a good choice because it had no reservations to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. Many countries, including the U. Australian Foreign Minister Hayden announced his support for a tribunal to try the Khmer Rouge the day after my first appearance on Australian television and radio.
I also later learned that the Australians had consulted the U.
State Department, which remained opposed to the prosecution because it might legitimize the Vietnamese-backed regime in Phnom Penh and undermine the opposition coalition backed by Washington, a coalition that included the Khmer Rouge. Neither David Hawk, who took the case to Sweden, nor I could convince any other government to take the case to the World Court. I had learned lesson number one about the struggle against genocide: Genocide continues and its perpetrators escape with impunity because of failure of political will to enforce the law.
The Genocide Convention is international law. But law is not effective until there is the authoritative decision to enforce it. So a group of Cambodia activists centered in Washington D. Since the State Department was opposed to prosecuting the Khmer Rouge, we had to take the battle to the U. Etcheson, a political science Ph. Jeremy Stone, president of the Federation of American Scientists, provided us with office space.
The State Department predictably opposed the Act because it earmarked funds for investigation of the Cambodian genocide. Passed by overwhelming votes in both the House and Senate and signed by President Clinton, the Act declared that it is U. In , I joined the State Department Foreign Service, and, in was assigned to work on the steering committee of the Office of Cambodian Genocide Investigations, under the superb leadership of Al LaPorta, who was rewarded for this service with the Ambassadorship to Mongolia.
The Cambodian Genocide Program established the Documentation Center in Phnom Penh, which is ably headed by Youk Chhang, a university-educated Cambodian citizen who is tri-lingual in Khmer, English, and French, and who, more importantly, has the courage to ignore political pressures from the government and to carry on the investigation in spite of many threats to his life from the Khmer Rouge. Within the State Department, when it became evident that we knew the exact location of Pol Pot and could possibly encourage a commando raid from Thailand to seize him, several members of the War Crimes Working Group and Southeast Asia Bureau met to consider the matter.
The U. Security Council. The political will of the U. At the time of this writing January, , the Cambodian National Assembly finally passed the legislation to establish the tribunal. It still remains to be seen whether the current Cambodian leadership will allow the timely establishment of the tribunal to try the Khmer Rouge leaders. Pol Pot is already dead; the others are old men protected by amnesty deals. If the tribunal is finally established it will be, for me and for many Cambodians, a dream long denied, but finally realized after twenty years of very hard work.
The Rwanda Tribunal Creating the political will and establishing an international tribunal to try the perpetrators of genocide was much faster for Rwanda. Unfortunately, the political will to prevent the genocide came too late to save the , people who were murdered. Political Affairs.
I was responsible for coordinating and writing U. The latter group was formed in the aftermath of the Bosnian massacres to establish the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and to coordinate U. In the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, Rwanda was added to its agenda.
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It was composed of representatives from the Legal, Human Rights, U. Ward became U. Ambassador to Namibia. He is now director of the training program at the U. Institute of Peace. You will be ending your career if you do this. What I learned was that Secretary of State Warren Christopher had received a call from the Belgian government saying that Belgium was withdrawing its contingent after ten of its peacekeepers had been murdered and mutilated. Belgium called on the U.
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The Peacekeeping Core Group was convened by Dr. Rice and Mr. Ward in the conference room of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. There, without dissent, it was decided that the U. Peacekeeping Operation in Rwanda could not stop the killing in Rwanda without exceeding the mandate given to it by the U.
In an informal session of the U. The next day, the interim Rwandan cabinet met and decided to extend the genocide to southern Rwanda. The UNAMIR troops should have been reinforced and their mandate strengthened to defend the thousands of Tutsis who had gathered in churches and stadiums for protection. When I invited General Dallaire to Washington to speak at the invitation of the War Crimes Working Group, George Ward came into my office shaking with rage, and my supervisor, Ann Korky, tried to block the visit up to the last moment when General Dallaire was at the Montreal airport.
Returning to the State Department, I drafted U. Resolution , which called on all U. The two tribunals are joined at the head, with a common appeals chamber, and common chief prosecutor. We eliminated the requirement that war crimes be committed in the course of an international conflict, and we incorporated Common Article 3 and Optional Protocol 2 of the Geneva Conventions as crimes within the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
Common Article 3 criminalizes war crimes that are not committed during an international war, a point that was overlooked in the statute for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and that was especially important for a civil conflict like Rwanda. Optional Protocol 2 broadens the prohibitions of the Geneva Conventions, applies them to non-state armed forces, and extends further protections to civilian populations. These were significant advances in international humanitarian law. I simply pointed out that law is made by authoritative decision, in this case by the U.
The Security Council could make new law. Getting the Rwanda Tribunal up and running was another matter. When I was advising the U. Commission of Experts, I visited the U. I recommended that the ICTR be located there. But Kenya did not want it, due to connections between President Moi and the former Rwandan regime.
So Arusha, Tanzania was chosen instead, requiring years of preparation of courtrooms, offices, and prison cells. An ineffective Deputy Prosecutor, a retired judge from Madagascar, was sent to Kigali, and in a nearly fatal mistake, a U. The Tribunal judges did not arrive in Arusha until Office of Internal Oversight Investigations. Changes soon followed. The Rwanda Tribunal holds some of the top leaders of the Rwandan genocide. But meanwhile, over , prisoners rot in Rwandan jails without being formally charged because the Rwandan justice system lacks the personnel and resources to process them.
It has become a cornerstone of U. I strongly advocated sending a U.
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In , the Rwandan Patriotic Army invaded the camps instead, and hundreds of thousands of Rwandans came home. Other thousands fled into the jungle. I was in Kigali when the Rwandan Army invaded Zaire. During this period, I had driven up to Gisenyi to see Rose Carr, an American who ran an orphanage and had lived in Rwanda for many years, when our car was engulfed by the human tide of refugees that was flowing back into Rwanda.
It was a human flood of biblical proportions. Among the refugees was an eleven-year-old orphan who was lame. He begged for help. There were many others who were sick. Although a skittish U. Ambassador to Rwanda. In spite of my Top Secret Codeword security clearance, I could never get an answer.
Major Storms, Floods, and Tsunamis
They confirmed my worst fears—a revenge genocide was in progress. Working with colleagues from other countries—particularly Australia, Canada, and New Zealand—we put together a resolution for the U. Commission on Human Rights to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the reports of human rights violations in what had now become the Democratic Republic of the Congo under President Joseph Kabila.
Kabila refused to cooperate with it. So the mass murders at Mbandaka and south of Kisangani and throughout the Kivus have remained uninvestigated and unprosecuted. An estimate by epidemiologist Dr. Les Roberts, a consultant for the International Rescue Committee, is that the war has cost 1. When there is no force of law, the world will be ruled by the law of force. Tenure was denied, and my contract with the State Department ended. So I left the State Department in and went to work on initiatives that are either being opposed by or cannot be accomplished by the U.
Enforcement of the Genocide Convention has long been frustrated by the lack of the international institutions needed to enforce it. In July , the U. We were in illustrious company—Iraq, Sudan, and China. The real reason is that as the sole remaining super-power, the U. It is a preposterous policy— more fitting for a nineteenth-century imperial power than for a twenty-first century advocate of democracy and the rule of law.
We also aimed to secure the signature of the United States on the Rome Treaty by December 31, , the final date for signatures without simultaneous ratifications. We were successful.
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I worked closely with David for years and knew privately how much he wanted the U. It was a sweet victory. Unfortunately, even when the ICC comes into existence, the U. India abstained, rather than voted against the treaty in , but is unlikely to sign. The ICC will not have universal jurisdiction unless the U. Security Council refers a case to it. So the court will lack jurisdiction over crimes committed in the territories of Sudan or Iraq unless the Security Council grants it.
But the ICC is an important step toward a world ruled by law. Eventually the U. A Standing, Volunteer U. Rapid Response Force Currently, there is no powerful international Rapid Response Force that could intervene quickly when genocide threatens or begins. I assisted Don Kraus of the Campaign for U. Reform in drafting the McGovern-Porter U. Rapid Deployment Peace and Security Act of , which supports creation of such a force. It has two dozen co-sponsors, and it is an idea whose time will come. A step toward this standing rapid response force is the Danish and Canadian proposal for a U.
The command center in Copenhagen is already operational. Such a force needs to be enlarged and its mandate extended to Chapter Seven operations mandatory, forceful peacekeeping without the consent of all parties as well as Chapter Six operations pacific settlement of disputes, with the consent of the country where peacekeepers will be stationed.
French forces said they had killed three alleged jihadists 21 April in confrontation near Goudam village, west of Timbuktu. Army 20 April killed fifteen suspected jihadists in Tina forest, Mopti region. Army 6 April killed fourteen suspected jihadists in Dioura, Mopti region; army said they had tried to escape, while local sources accused army of summary executions. Inter-ethnic violence and suspected jihadist attacks escalated in centre, as ethnic militias pursued operations against jihadists in Mali-Niger border area with French military support.
Dogon hunters 11 March reportedly killed two Fulani herders and set fire to several Fulani-owned houses in Madougou, Mopti region. President of Fulani association Tabital Pulaaku 13 March said Dogon militias had killed at least 25 Fulani civilians in past eight days. Armed groups continued to attack govt troops, international forces and civilians in centre and north.
Assailants attacked army contingent after its vehicle hit improvised mine in Mopti region 8 March, four soldiers killed. Unclaimed improvised mine killed three civilians in Mondoro, Mopti region 19 March. Gunmen 28 March attacked hotel in Bandiagar, Mopti region, one soldier and one assailant killed. Inter-ethnic attacks continued in north and centre: armed men attacked ethnic Doosaak village in Gao region in north 2 Feb, killing four people and abducting three others; after ethnic Dogon hunters killed ethnic Fulani herder in dispute over well late Jan, armed men attacked Tonou village, Mopti region in centre 10 Feb, killing three Dogon.
Civilian vehicle triggered improvised mine in Mopti region between Dera and Konna 9 Feb, six people killed. Six Malian soldiers and four UN peacekeepers killed when their vehicles triggered improvised mines in Mopti region 27 and 28 Feb respectively. Suspected jihadists increased attacks on national and international forces, especially in east and centre. French Barkhane forces 10 Jan captured several people suspected to have links to jihadists.
Civilian vehicle triggered mine near Boni, Mopti region in centre 25 Jan, 26 people killed. Army said it had repelled attack at Youwarou, Mopti region 25 Jan, killing seven attackers. Govt 11 Jan said it would launch large military operation to secure centre. Agreement follow-up committee 17 Jan decided on new timeline for implementation. FMs of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso in capital Bamako 8 Jan decided to create fund to channel donor funds for counter-terror operations.
Signatories of peace deal struggled to implement its major provisions, as attacks on national and international forces continued in north and centre. Attacks continued on national and international forces and civilians. Unidentified assailants ambushed National Guard convoy on Douentza-Gao road, Mopti region 3 Dec injuring two soldiers; abducted and killed five telecoms workers in Dianke, Timbuktu region 8 Dec; ambushed convoy of deputy prefect of Nara in Koulikoro region 9 Dec, wounding five soldiers and one civilian; attacked convoy of local leader in Timbuktu region 10 Dec killing at least six.
UN peacekeepers 15 Dec repelled four simultaneous attacks on their positions in Kidal town; one peacekeeper wounded. Following clashes late Nov between Malian and Guinean artisanal gold miners over mining site in border area, officials from both countries met in Kankan, Guinea Dec and worked toward border demarcation. Ceasefire held in north between rebel Coalition of Azawad Movements CMA and pro-national unity Platform coalition initiated in Sept, but attacks on national and international forces continued in north and centre.
Major attacks included: in north, unidentified gunmen 3 Nov attacked two army positions in Gao region, two assailants and six soldiers killed; one soldier killed when his vehicle triggered bomb in Timbuktu region 6 Nov. Another peacekeeper killed in attack near Douentza same day. Govt 27 Nov said it would postpone regional elections due 17 Dec until April citing insecurity. Artisanal miners reportedly clashed in Guinea-Mali border area 27 Nov leaving at least six dead. Following 20 Sept agreement between rebel Coalition of Azawad Movements CMA and pro-national unity Platform coalition, parties 10 Oct signed new local agreement called Anefis Two, aimed at setting up local security arrangements to keep peace in Kidal region in north.
As requested by govt, UN Security Council 5 Sept adopted new sanctions regime to impose travel bans and asset freezes on those undermining peace agreement. Community-based armed groups continued to develop; new Songhay Ganda group announced its formation 15 Aug in Gao region. CMA delegation in Bamako mid-Aug discussed with govt and other stakeholders implementation of June peace agreement, including formation of joint patrols and return of state administration to Kidal, and highlighted need to ensure proposed revised constitution fosters principle of self-administration by local residents.
After weeks of protests, Keita 18 Aug said revision would be pushed back and promised to organise new and more inclusive consultations. Serious fighting between signatory parties of June peace agreement resumed in Kidal region in north. Clashes erupted again 11 July in Djancheche area, 65km from Kidal city, casualties unknown. Armed assailants continued to attack Malian, UN and French forces and civilians in several areas. Unidentified gunmen same day attacked police vehicle in Timbuktu, wounding two policemen.
Malian and French troops 8 July arrested six alleged jihadists in camp near Ber, Timbuktu region in north, including Alhousseini Ag Assaley, close associate of Amadou Koufa, leader of jihadist group Macina Liberation Front. Violence in north continued to impede implementation of June peace agreement and intercommunal fighting worsened in centre. Intercommunal violence worsened in centre: Dogon and Fulani communities clashed in several villages in Mopti region June, 30 reportedly killed.
Barkhane retaliatory airstrike near Timbuktu reportedly killed five alleged jihadists 4 June. Gunmen 18 June stormed Kangaba resort near Bamako, killing four guests and one soldier; al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility. National Assembly 3 June agreed on draft constitution to be put to referendum 9 July; civil society organised protests mid-late June against amendments in proposed draft, especially reinforcement of presidential powers including power to nominate Senate president and dissolution of High Court of Justice; govt 21 June postponed referendum without setting new date; thousands protested in Bamako 28 June in favour of referendum on proposed draft.
No progress made in implementation of peace agreement as intercommunal, jihadist and criminal violence persisted. Armed robberies reported in Timbuktu, Ansongo, Gao and Kidal cities and on main roads. In Mopti region in centre, suspected jihadists 24 May burned down school in Ndodjiga village and unidentified gunmen 28 May killed local official in Mondoro town. Violence and banditry persisted in north and centre. Jihadists 18 April attacked FAMA in Tagharouste, Timbuktu region, killing at least four, French forces killed about ten jihadists fleeing scene; jihadist coalition Group to Defend Islam and Muslims allegedly claimed responsibility.
Maiga formed new govt 11 April, including eleven new ministers. Govt 16 April negotiated agreement with striking health workers, but many teachers continued strike. Partial establishment of interim authorities in north during month — key provision of June peace agreement — did little to decrease tensions as attacks on security forces continued in north and centre. Unidentified gunmen 29 March attacked checkpoint in Boulkessi, reportedly killing two gendarmes and one civilian. Unidentified assailants same day burned down two schools in Taga and Koumaga, Mopti region. Govt 10 March accepted proposed amendments to constitution to align it with June peace agreement; national assembly to vote on amendments before July referendum.
Conference of national understanding intended to foster reconciliation opened 27 March in Bamako; CMA 28 March decided to participate, political opposition remained absent. Implementation of peace agreement in north inched forward and intercommunal fighting worsened in centre. Peace agreement signatories and international mediation 10 Feb issued joint statement identifying main contentious issues and setting new calendar for implementation, including plan to establish interim authorities in north Feb.
Govt 17 Feb appointed new governor of Kidal close to Platform but subsequent tensions delayed official instalment of interim authorities in Kidal until 28 Feb. Dissatisfied armed groups briefly occupied regional councils in Gao 27 Feb and Timbuktu 28 Feb. Army and armed group joint patrols, envisioned in peace agreement, started in Gao 23 Feb. Intercommunal violence rose in centre. Govt forces FAMA 16 Feb said they had arrested four jihadists suspected of involvement in intercommunal clashes. Unidentified gunmen 7 Feb kidnapped Colombian nun in Karangasso, Sikasso region.
Jihadist bombing in Gao threatened fragile progress in security arrangements in north. While main separatist rebel alliance Coalition of Azawad Movements CMA and Platform coalition that favours national unity were negotiating conditions of participation in joint patrols, car bomb claimed by jihadist group al-Murabitun exploded 18 Jan at joint camp in Gao, killing 61 soldiers and armed group members. Unidentified assailants 1 Jan burned down police station in Gossi, Timbuktu region. In centre, unidentified gunmen shot two mayors in Boni 18 Jan and Mondoro 28 Jan.
Govt, Burkina Faso and Niger 24 Jan agreed to create joint military force to counter insecurity in border areas in Liptako-Gourma zone. Suspected bandits and jihadists continued to attack national and international security forces in several areas. Gunmen 17 Dec attacked National Guard outpost in Timbuktu region, wounding two officers. Gunmen 6 Dec stormed Niono prison in Segou region, freeing 93 inmates and wounding at least two guards. French-Swiss aid worker kidnapped in Gao city 24 Dec. Tensions remained high between armed group signatories to June peace agreement.
Local elections marred by CMA boycott, low voter turnout and violence including attacks on security forces protecting ballot boxes, reportedly killing at least five. Suicide attack at Gao airport 29 Nov only killed attacker. Govt 14 Oct appointed interim authorities in five northern regions; several CMA and Platform factions challenged lists, said they excluded key actors or were made mostly by factions from Kidal region.
Targeted killings of civilians and attacks on national and international forces still high in north and centre. Continued fighting and armed group split in north further undermined peace process and violence persisted in centre. Unidentified attackers 25 Sept killed one army officer and relative in Timbuktu, army 26 Sept accused jihadists. Violence in centre continued. Unidentified gunmen attacked gendarmerie outpost near Bandiagara, Mopti region 1 Sept, wounding one gendarme. Gunmen same day attacked another outpost near San, Segou region, stealing weapons and ammunition; jihadist group Ansar Dine claimed responsibility.
After armed forces retreated from Boni to Douentza, both Mopti region 1 Sept, alleged jihadists took control of Boni 2 Sept, but next day jihadists fled, reportedly taking local official hostage, and armed forces returned with air support from UN mission; in light of attacks President Keita sacked Defence Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly 3 Sept. Gunmen ambushed army convoy near Boni 9 Sept, killing three soldiers, wounding two.
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After significant deterioration in security late July, rival Tuareg armed groups clashed again in Kidal region and suspected jihadist groups continued attacks in north and centre. Unidentified armed men attacked two army convoys near Tenenkou, Mopti region 8 Aug killing at least five soldiers; forced gendarmes to evacuate position in Nantaga, Mopti region 19 Aug; attacked Gathi Loumo, Mopti region, burning city hall 21 Aug; same day attacked security forces on Gossi-Hombori axis in Timbuktu region.
Inter-ethnic clashes left five dead near Tenenkou, Mopti region 27 Aug. In north security forces violently repressed protests and rebel groups clashed. Security forces 12 July opened fire on youth associations in Gao protesting appointment of interim authorities in north — major step in implementation of peace deal — and demanding to be included in disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process; four killed, 37 injured. Protests also broke out in Timbuktu and Bamako in following days. Govt delegation 13 July met youth in Gao to ease tensions. However, clashes between groups in Kidal July left up to twenty dead.
Parliament 30 July extended state of emergency until March Implementation of June peace agreement remained slow, as armed group and ethnic violence continued. Govt, main rebel alliance Coalition of Azawad Movements CMA and pro-unity armed groups Platform 14 June agreed new calendar to appoint interim authorities and restore public services in five northern regions.
Suspected jihadists continued attacks on national and international forces: unidentified gunmen 12 June clashed with govt forces in N Timbuktu region, wounding two soldiers; 19 June attacked National Guard outpost near Gao, wounding soldier. Clashes between ethnic armed groups and attacks by suspected jihadists rose in centre and armed groups continued to clash in north. Ethnic clashes increased in centre: Fulani and Bambara armed groups clashed repeatedly in Mopti region 30 April-3 May, leaving some 30 dead.
French Operation Barkhane and army FAMA intensified efforts to counter jihadists: arrested at least five and killed two suspected jihadists April in central region. After Barkhane forces arrested local guide for alleged links with jihadist groups, jihadist group Ansar Dine 16 April abducted three ICRC employees he was guiding, demanded his release.
UNSC delegation March visited to assess implementation of June Bamako peace agreement; encouraged signatories to accelerate process and expressed support for local peace initiatives. Peace agreement follow-up committee mandated to implement Bamako accord made no progress at seventh session March. Local Tuareg and Arab communities and security forces held reconciliation meeting 12 March in Gargando, Timbuktu region. Mali and Burkina Faso forces with support from French Operation Barkhane undertook joint operation 22 Feb-6 March to secure border areas against jihadists.
Security forces 31 March reportedly arrested suspected jihadi leader Souleymane Keita. Tensions rose 2 Feb when hundreds of pro-govt militia arrived at rebel stronghold Kidal; violence avoided with talks between rebel alliance Coalition of Azawad Movements CMA and pro-govt militia. Govt, CMA and pro-govt armed groups 26 Feb jointly stated need to boost peace agreement implementation and announced peace forum in Kidal March. Delays in implementation of Bamako peace agreement led leader of international mediation, Algeria, to organise emergency meeting Jan to address implementation challenges.
Govt 19 Jan appointed governors for newly created northern regions Menaka and Taoudeni, in step toward decentralisation and reestablishing state administration in north. Fighting between Coalition of Azawad Movements CMA and pro-govt armed groups halted following mid-Oct Anefis peace agreement; campaigns and reconciliation meetings continued throughout month to consolidate and extend peace. Implementation of Bamako peace accords remains stalled. French army 20 Dec launched operation against al-Murabitun militants near Menaka, some ten militants captured or killed.
Pro-govt armed groups alleged operation caused death of several of their members. Peace agreement follow-up committee CSA early-Nov reported progress on establishment of cantonment sites to begin disarmament process and establishment of mixed patrols by parties in north. Two gunmen 20 Nov attacked luxury hotel in Bamako; some hostages taken, 22 killed and rest released; radical groups al-Murabitoun and Macina Liberation Front both claimed responsibility for attack. Insecurity throughout country continued: seven IED and mine attacks targeting govt and international security forces reported since early-Nov in Gao region; armed men 28 Nov attacked MINUSMA camp in Kidal, two peacekeepers and one contract agent killed, over fourteen wounded; responsibility for attack claimed by radical islamist group Ansar Eddine.
Negotiations with other communities implicated in conflict continued until mid-Oct with other inter-communal agreements signed. Attacks on security forces continued mainly in central region, including 1 Oct attack on armed forces convoy and 13 Oct attack on civilian convoy with security forces escort. Army 28 Oct reportedly killed seven jihadis in Mopti region near border with Burkina Faso. Radical group activity and criminal violence continued in north and centre including: MINUSMA convoy attacked 11 Sept, two Senegalese peacekeepers wounded; officer killed 12 Sept in Ouonkoro, Mopti region, police station also looted and burned; several villages in Timbuktu region attacked and looted 31 Aug-1 Sept by unidentified individuals; three NGO workers attacked 12 Sept in Ouro Aly Tem village, Mopti region.
Govt 21 Sept postponed planned 25 Oct regional and municipal elections, citing insecurity in north. Committee of the Agreement CSA , tasked with implementing May peace agreement between armed Tuareg coalition Coordination of Movements of Azawad CMA , govt and pro-govt armed groups, continued to face challenges as disagreements persisted over representation and responsibility-sharing.
Committee of the Agreement CSA , established to oversee implementation of 20 June peace deal, met July and late July; participants failed to agree on rules to share responsibilities within committee, scope of mission, and on individual representatives, slowing implementation progress. Armed forces 14 July arrested over fifteen suspected Islamist fighters in Zegoua, near Ivoirian border. Pro-govt armed groups did not sign but withdrew from Menaka 19 June.
Violence continued despite end of clashes between CMA and pro-govt armed groups. Local sources reported assailants attacked army camps and police station in Misseni, Sikasso region, 10 June. Security forces 16 June launched operation against suspected jihadi group near Koba village, Mopti region, one soldier wounded, five suspects killed, one taken prisoner.
Suspected jihadis attacked army camp in Nara 27 June; nine assailants, three soldiers killed. CMA refused to attend official signing ceremony of accord document 15 May in Bamako; govt, pro-govt armed groups and international mediation 15 May attended. Fifth round of peace negotiations began 16 Feb in Algiers, ceasefire signed 19 Feb between govt and six armed groups despite tensions following string of clashes between pro-govt and rebel groups, including: Gatia 3 Feb launched attack on Coordination of Movement of Azawad CMA forces near Tabankort, some ten killed; CMA 13 Feb clashed with pro-govt forces at Takazkaza, 40km from Tabankort.
Mopti region also suffered attacks: group of armed men 14 Feb attacked Gathi-Loumo, clashed with govt troops, four assailants and two soldiers killed. Attacks in north continued to threaten Algiers peace process. Heavy fighting resumed Jan between pro-govt and pro-Azawad groups in Tilemsi valley near Tabankort; clashes Jan left 10 dead in Tabankort region; clashes 31 Jan in Kano village, near Timbuktu left one dead, twenty kidnapped.
Tuareg rebels 23 Jan suspended coordination with UN mission. Third round of Algiers peace talks suspended 1 Dec, set to resume Jan. Rockets fired at Tessalit camp 31 Dec, no one killed. Pro-govt forces 26 Dec clashed with pro-Azawad group over Bamba, Gao region. Algiers talks concluded 28 Nov, parties did not reach agreement; continued disagreement over federalism, next round of talks planned Jan Limited violations of ceasefire continued throughout month: 2 Nov clashes between govt forces and troops tied to High Council for Azawad Unity HCUA in Boulkessi resulted in arrest of twenty militants; explosion in Almoustarat killed two Malian troops same day.
Armed violence in north continued to threaten peace process: violation of ceasefire reported 16 Oct following clashes between rival Tuareg groups in Tillit, south of Gao. Azawad Movements Coalition 28 Oct announced united military effort to stem insecurity in north; agreed to abide by May ceasefire. Inter-Malian peace talks resumed 1 Sept in Algiers. Govt 18 Sept unveiled regionalisation plan for Azawad, rejected by pro-Azawad coalition. Talks suspended 27 Sept to 13 Oct. Pro-unity march in Bamako 25 Sept. Opposition 7 Sept denounced general lack of progress; PM Moussa Mara increasingly criticised by majority.
Fighting continued despite negotiations: govt 11 July reported increased jihadi infiltrations and rebel movements in north; dozens reported killed in clashes between MNLA and MAA splinter group around Anefis and Tabankort 11 and 13 July. Air Algeria flight crashed 24 July around Gossi, onboard killed; investigations ongoing. PM Mara 17 May visited Kidal, prompting deadly clashes between Tuareg armed fighters and security forces: 8 soldiers killed and 25 injured; 28 Tuareg fighters killed and 62 wounded.
Month saw limited progress in peace talks; overlapping external facilitation attempts highlighted lack of coordination. Security operations in north ongoing. Talks between govt and armed groups, stalled since Nov , resumed 13 Feb in Bamako; parties 15 Feb reached agreement on cantonment but no precise timeframe yet; Arab Armed Group MAA left negotiations. Insecurity remained high: rockets launched on Gao 13 Feb, Timbuktu 16 Feb. Further fighting reported in Tin-Hama near Ansongo 10 Feb. Court mid Feb ordered arrest of prominent military figures connected to former junta.
French forces 23 Jan killed 11 jihadis north of Timbuktu; 2 bombs exploded 24 Jan in Kidal. Despite incidents, France pressed for reducing contingent in N Mali; following popular discontent govt and France postponed signing new military agreement initially planned 22 Jan. Violence and insecurity in north contin- ued; 3 Fulani herders killed in Goundam 4 Dec; 6 ethnic Arabs allegedly abducted Feb by Malian army in Timbuktu found dead 9 Dec. MNLA representatives 29 Nov announced end to 5-month- old ceasefire, return to war following 28 Nov clash between security forces and several hundred Tuareg demonstrators blocking Kidal airport to prevent PM Tatam Ly visit.
Other MNLA officials denied going back to war but warned against another incident. National Conference on the North held in Bamako 1- 3 Nov, legislative elections held 24 Nov in relative calm despite minor incidents: MNLA supporters in Kidal threw stones at voters arriving to cast ballots; unidentified assailants stole ballots in Goundam. Clashes between Tuaregs and Peuls north of Gao 23 Nov left uncertain number dead; officials said clashes unrelated to elections..
General Sanogo arrested 27 Nov, charged with abduction; several hundred protesters demanding his release in Kati and Bamako 29 Nov. Demonstrators gathered in Gao 10 Oct to protest insecurity, weak state presence. Tatam Ly 8 Sept named new cabinet, including former cabinet director of coup leader Captain Sanogo, Gen Moussa Sinko Coulibaly, as new interior minister; opposition leaders protested against Sinko Coulibaly keeping position in new govt.
Tensions in north increased: 29 Sept suicide attack in Timbuktu left at least 2 civilians and 4 jihadis dead, as well as 6 Malian soldiers injured. President IBK 26 Sept called for Sahara countries to create regional multilateral rapid reaction force to respond to ongoing Islamist threat across region. Delegation of ministers visiting Kidal 15 Sept pelted with stones. Govt 28 Aug announced Sanogo no longer in charge of army reform committee.
Army re-deployment in north continued: Waraba battalion arrived in Tessalit, Aguelhok 27 July. Ongoing tensions in Kidal region: 11 July visit to Kidal town by regional governor aborted for security reasons, took place 15 July; at least 1 killed 18 July in intercommunal clashes; authorities 20 July reported several election workers kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
French hostage Philippe Verdon, abducted Nov in Hombori, found dead. Low-frequency attacks continued in north. Suicide attacks in northern towns continued. Suicide attack in Kidal killed 3 Chadian soldiers 12 April; roadside bomb killed French soldier 29 April. French and Chadian troops early-month began drawdown; France said would reduce forces on the ground to 2, by July and 1, by year-end; Chad indicated it may redeploy troops as part of UN-led force.
Military operations targeting Islamist militant groups in north intensified, including fierce clashes in Gao as Islamist rebel attack repelled 24 March; clashes ongoing in Timbuktu following suicide bomb attack on army checkpoint 30 March. Regional states confirmed plans to send troops to join regional force. Govt 6 March announced creation of Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission. Military operations against Islamic militants in north continued: French air force 3 Feb bombarded arms caches and suspected Islamist training camps in Kidal area; clashes in Ifoghas mountain range near Kidal left 1 French soldier, 20 suspected militants dead 18 Feb; 23 Chadian soldiers, 93 militants killed in clashes near Tessalit Feb.
Suicide bomber killed at least 7 in Kidal 26 Feb. Fears of inter-ethnic backlash increased following reports ethnic Tuareg and Arabs summarily executed by Malian army; Human Rights Watch urged govt to prosecute soldiers suspected of rights violations. French forces quickly advanced north: at least Islamists, 60 Malian troops, 1 French soldier, 10 civilians killed in battle of Konna; at least 50 Islamists, 3 soldiers reportedly killed Jan in battle of Diabaly.
UN 31 Jan said considering deploying up to 5, peacekeepers when Operation Serval is over. Sissoko 15 Dec named new govt but military still in charge of defence, justice, interior ministries. Foreign Minister Tieman Coulibaly said elections not possible until north regained and Islamists defeated. Conflicting statements throughout month on intention to implement Sharia in territories under AD control suggested internal divisions within group.
Guinean govt 17 Oct authorised arms shipment bound for Mali, previously blocked because of security concerns. Security situation continued to deteriorate, prompting fears of renewed conflict.
Bitter Rivals: Iran and Saudi Arabia
Demonstrators in Bamako Sept protested against foreign intervention; international community remained divided on military intervention at UN special session on Mali 26 Sept. Military coup leader Captain Sanogo 26 Sept promoted to Commander; same day shoot-out in Bamako police barracks between officers reportedly upset at colleagues perceived as too close to junta injured at least 2. UNSC 12 Aug called on military to refrain from interfering in political process, 10 Aug encouraged appointment of unity govt, expeditious holding of elections, expressed concern over increased terrorist threat, abuses.
ICC team 31 Aug arrived to investigate possible war crimes. Transitional govt 9 July announced creation of 1,strong elite corps to safeguard institutions. Support and follow-up group meeting in Abidjan 7 June demanded immediate dissolution of military junta. Govt 9 June announced creation of committee for army reform incorporating junta elements. ECOWAS 27 April announced deployment of 3, troops, one-year transition instead of 40 days initially agreed with junta; Captain Sanogo 29 April said violation of agreement; fears of further unrest at Kati military garrison.
Sanogo 1 April said constitution would be reinstated. Mauritanian air force 11 March launched air strike against suspected AQIM convoy near Timbuktu following exchange of hostages 10 March, 2 civilians injured. UN said over , displaced by rebellion; crisis prompted calls for postponement of presidential election scheduled 29 April.
Following raid by Western-Sahara Polisario separatists that saw 1 killed, 3 kidnapped, govt 17 Dec said Polisario incursions on Malian territory would no longer be tolerated. Supreme Court 13 Oct ruled against opposition Solidarity for Democracy and Independence request that it act to redress lack of opposition representation in election commission.
Concern over possible Tuareg rebellion stoked by reported return of over fighters from Libya, coinciding with series of rebel attacks in North.
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