Mali. In January, the government departed with Prime Minister Moussa Mara in the lead. The new head of government was Modibo Keïta, who held the post once before. He was later approved by Parliament with votes 116 against 16.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Bamako is the capital of Mali which is located in Western Africa. 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 work.
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 flee.
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 commission.
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.