Mali. In January, the government departed with Prime
Minister Moussa Mara in the lead. The new head of government
was Modibo Keďta, who held the post once before. He was
later approved by Parliament with votes 116 against 16.
COUNTRYAAH, the violence continued in northern Mali. Obituaries were
demanded in fighting between Islamists and the military, in
suicide bombings against the Tuareg guerrillas, but also
when UN soldiers dispelled protesters protesting against the
UN force MINUSMA in the city of Gao. According to witnesses,
UN staff shot dead three people. An investigation showed
that the UN police used more violence than the situation
demanded and allowed.
In January, most of Sweden's UN troops arrived in the
city of Timbuktu. The total number of Swedish soldiers and
officers is 120, and their task is primarily intelligence
In February, a ceasefire agreement was signed between the
government, a loyal militia and a rebel alliance. However,
hopes for lasting peace were low, especially as the radical
Islamists with ties to al-Qaeda were not included in the
agreement. The rebels had demanded some form of independence
in northern Mali, and in March an agreement was signed which
was said to give extensive autonomy to the region. But the
rebels soon withdrew from the agreement.
The attack continued with both Africans and Europeans as
victims. A Red Cross worker was killed in an attack on
auxiliary transport. The violence and unrest meant that the
local elections that would have been held in April were
postponed. At least three people were killed and many were
injured, including several UN soldiers, in a suicide attack
at a UN camp in Gao. Two of the UN drivers were also killed
in the assault. Struggles between the government side and
the Tuareg Greeks demanded many deaths in several places.
The violence forced another tens of thousands of people to
In May and June, the government, three of its militia and
the Tuareg rebel alliance, signed the CMA under a peace
agreement. Two smaller groups were also included in the
settlement. Self-government was watered down in the
agreement, but regional parishes should be elected and
residents of the north should be given increased role in
state authorities. In addition, the rebels will be
integrated into the security forces.
In July, six UN soldiers were killed by the Islamist
group Ansar al-Din. According to the commander of the UN
force, the soldiers lack sufficient training and enough
support and intelligence to function satisfactorily. At
least 36 UN soldiers had been killed and over 200 injured in
the two years that MINUSMA has been in Mali.
A Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission was
appointed during the year with the task of investigating the
abuses in Mali 1960-2013, up to President Amadou Toumani
Touré's resignation. An opposition politician will lead the
In August, the city of Sévaré was hit by a hostage drama.
It was further south than the violence previously ravaged.
The army stormed the hotel where an armed group entrenched
themselves, and at least 13 people were killed at the
exemption, several of them UN employees.
The peace agreement was fragile. In August, the Tuareg
Grebels left the Surveillance Commission after a
government-loyal militia attacked a Tuareg area.
In September, one of the leaders of the al-Qaeda-friendly
Islamist movement Ansar al-Din was arrested in Niger. Abu
Tourab, as he is called, was found guilty of the destruction
of religious and historical buildings in Timbuktu. He was
handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The
Hague. The senior leader of Ansar al-Din said the group did
not accept the peace agreement, and he called for new
attacks against the French forces in Mali.
At the end of the year, the UN warned that tens of
thousands of children were at risk of dying from
malnutrition in northern Mali as violence prevented aid
broadcasts. More than three million people were living on
food aid and hundreds of thousands were in a vulnerable
position. At the same time, Mali's macroeconomic growth was
strong, which was based on gold and cotton exports.