7 Apr 2012

Mali rebels declare independence of Azawad nation

Mali’s Tuareg rebels declared independence of an Azawad nation on Friday, as the political crisis in the country showed no signs of abating. Tuareg forces seized control of the country’s north in the chaotic aftermath of a military coup in the capital, Bamako.

azawad flag

“We, the people of the Azawad,” they said in a statement, “proclaim the irrevocable independence of the state of the Azawad starting from this day, Friday, April 6, 2012.”

Mali’s African neighbours have said they are planning military action to push the rebels back, as well as to restore constitutional rule elsewhere. France, which has already said it is willing to offer logistical support for a military invasion, said yesterday that it does not recognize the new Tuareg state. “A unilateral declaration of independence that is not recognized by African states means nothing for us,” said French defence minister Gerard Longuet. The European Union agreed.