Sabtu, 07 April 2012

Tuareg proclaimed independence rejected by African Union , the US and several European countries

The African Union, the US and several European countries have rejected the Tuaregs’ self-proclaimed independence in northern Mali, with neighbouring states calling for Tuareg rebels to respect the West African nation’s territorial integrity.

By David THOMSON / Eve IRVINE / Khalil BECHIR , FRANCE 24 special correspondents reporting from Mali (video)
News Wires (text)
AFP - Mali's Tuareg rebels declared independence Friday in the north, a move rejected by the international community and the Islamist insurgents they fought beside, as fears grew of a humanitarian crisis.
The United States, Africa and Europe dismissed the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad's (MNLA) declaration of independence.
The declaration, long a goal of Tuareg rebels, is a bid to formalise the situation on the ground, where the the country had been split in two by their uprising.
A democratic success since its last coup 21 years ago, Mali is now roughly divided into a Tuareg rebel-controlled north and junta-controlled south.
Complicating the picture, a radical Islamist group, Ansar Dine, has exploited the chaos to swoop in and install sharia law in parts of the north.
But while for a while the Islamists fought in concert with the MNLA, they have given short shrift to their independence plans.
"Our war is a holy war," Ansar Dine military chief Omar Hamaha said.
"It's a legal war in the name of Islam. We are against rebellions. We are against independence. We are against revolutions not in the name of Islam."
Hamaha was speaking in a video obtained by AFP and France 2 television, filmed on Tuesday and Wednesday after the Islamists' takeover of the fabled city of Timbuktu.
It showed one group of rebels loitering outside a military camp, with their black flag draped over the name of the barracks above the entrance.
In other scenes in the video, small groups of women walked along the city's streets. Some wore full-face veils but most simply covered their hair with scarves.
Hamaha said they had "more than 120 prisoners" including thieves.
"We have tied them up and taken their weapons. We beat them well and it's likely we will slit their throats," he added in unedited footage. It was not clear if this threat was directed at all prisoners.
In the city of Gao, witnesses said Ansar Dine had kidnapped seven Algerian diplomats, reports confirmed by the Algerian foreign ministry.
While the Islamists appeared to have the upper hand, the separatist MNLA on Friday morning declared the independence of their desert homeland, which they call Azawad, and where several rebellions have played out in past decades.
This latest one was fuelled by a flood of weapons -- and returning Tuareg fighters -- from Libya following Moamer Kadhafi's downfall.
"We solemnly proclaim the independence of Azawad as from today," Mossa Ag Attaher, a Paris-based MNLA spokesman said on France 24 television, confirming a statement on the group's website.
He told AFP the group was ready to help fight the "terrorism" of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
But the international community swiftly rejected their proclamation.
The African Union dismissed it as "null and of no value whatsoever", while the European Union and United States both called for respect of Mali's "territorial integrity".
Britain said it was temporarily closing its embassy in Mali due to the "unstable" situation and "lack of constitutional rule".
Algeria, Mauritania and Niger are to meet on Sunday to discuss the crisis in their troubled neighbour, Algeria's APS news agency reported.
Some analysts have warned it will not be easy to dislodge the Tuareg from the north now that they have staked their claim.
But at the same time West Africa expert Paul Melly of London-based Chatham House said Mali could not be considered "definitively partitioned".
"Much of the population of the north ... is made up of sub-Saharan Africa ethnic groups such as the Songhai and the Fulani, who consider themselves to be Malian and have no interest in an independent Tuareg state."
Amnesty International warned that north Mali was on the brink of a "major humanitarian disaster". Oxfam and World Vision said crippling sanctions against the junta could have devastating consequences.
"All the food and medicine stored by major aid agencies has been looted and most of the aid workers have fled," said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty's researcher on west Africa.
"The population is at imminent risk of severe food and medical shortages that could lead to many casualties especially among women and children who are less able to fend for themselves."
More than 200,000 people have fled since the rebellion began in mid-January.
Angry at government's handling of the insurgency a group of low-ranking soldiers lead by Captain Amadou Sanogo on March 22 ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure just weeks before he was due to step down after an election.
But in the weeks following the coup the Tuareg and Islamist fighters made even greater gains, tightening their grip on the northern regions.

and Coup leaders bow to sanctions imposed and agree to handover power to  interim leader - Parliament speaker Traore .......

The leaders of Mali's coup and neighbouring countries have reached a deal under which the two-week-old military junta will hand over power in return for the end of trade and diplomatic sanctions.
Mali's military junta and the West African bloc ECOWAS announced the deal on Malian state television late on Friday.
Under the plan, signed by mediators and junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, the military government will hand over power to parliament speaker Diouncounda Traore who will be sworn in as interim president with a mission to organise elections.
The deal also includes the lifting of sanctions clamped by ECOWAS on Mali and an amnesty for those involved in the coup.

The embargo included the closing of all borders of ECOWAS states with Mali except for humanitarian reasons, closing to Mali access to ECOWAS ports, and the freezing of Malian bank accounts.
Sanctions will be lifted

ECOWAS chief Alassane Ouattara said the sanctions should be lifted "immediately", Burkina Faso's Djibrill Bassole told public television station ORTM.
He also said President Amadou Toumani Toure, who was overthrown on March 22 and has since not been seen in public, should be able to live where he wants under army protection.
 The five-page agreement provides a framework for a return to constitutional rule under the interim leader who will also handle the crisis in the north, where Islamists and Tuareg rebels have seized control.
The deal did not give a timetable for Sanogo to step down, but said the 15-state ECOWAS regional grouping would immediately prepare the end of tough sanctions including the closure of trade borders to the land-locked country.
The statement added that if elections were not possible within the 40 days set out by the constitution due to Tuaregs’ rebellion in the north, a transition structure would need to be created.
The announcement came on the day that the northern rebels declared independence of the territory they call Azawad, a call immediately rejected by African neighbours and foreign capitals from Paris to Washington.


Mali News Update: Coup Leaders Sign Accord to Restore Civilian Rule

Leader of Mali coup signs accord to restore democracy

By Rukmini Callimachi
Associated Press
April 07, 2012

BAMAKO, Mali - Under intense pressure from the nations bordering Mali, the junior officer who seized control of the country in a coup last month signed an accord late Friday agreeing to return the country to constitutional rule.

The announcement was made only hours after separatist rebels in the country’s north declared their independence, a move that further complicates a crisis that began March 21 when a group of disgruntled soldiers began shooting in the air at a military base, located just miles from the presidential palace.On Friday, Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo emerged from his office inside that same base, which served as the de facto seat of government ever since he and his men decided to march from the barracks to the presidential palace, reversing two decades of democratic rule in a single day.

Flanked by the ministers of neighboring nations, he read out the accord, stating that under Article 36 of Mali’s constitution, the head of the national assembly becomes interim president in the event of a vacancy of power. The head of the Parliament will form an interim government, which will organize new elections.

However, the accord did not say what role the military junta or its young leader will play in the future. It also did not state when the head of the assembly will assume the post, or how long the transition will last before new elections are held. Dioncounda Traore, the head of the assembly, fled Mali on the day of the coup.

Article 36 of the constitution says that elections should be held in no more than 40 days. The accord stated that that timeframe will likely need to be extended, due to rebellion which has turned the northern half of the country into a war zone.

“Because of the exceptional circumstances that the country is going through, because of the institutional crisis and the armed rebellion in the north, which have badly affected the functioning of the institutions of the republic, and because of the impossibility of organizing elections in 40 days,’’ Sanogo said. “It is indispensable to organize a political transition with the aim of organizing free, democratic, and transparent elections in all parts of the country.’’

The declaration was welcomed by Djibrill Bassole, Burkina Faso’s foreign minister. Bassole said the nations bordering Mali had agreed to lift sanctions imposed earlier this week.

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar