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Mali, army destroyed main tuareg rebel base

By on January 21, 2009

The Malian army has destroyed the main base for the Tuareg rebel group led by Ibrahim Ag Bahanga, the defense ministry announced on Tuesday.
“The main base of Ibrahim Ag Bahanga located in Tinsalak was destroyed Monday after an offensive by the national armed forces,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
According to the authorities, a group of rebels was taken prisoner and munitions and supplies seized by the army.
Although both sides signed a peace deal in 2006 in Algiers and another the following year, frequent clashes have continued in the north.
The Tuaregs are a nomadic desert people who have roamed the southern Sahara for centuries. In recent years they have staged uprisings in both Mali and Niger, claiming autonomy for their traditional homeland.
Several rebel groups united under the umbrella of the Democratic Alliance for Change, and recently announced a return to the peace process after initially turning their backs on the Algiers peace deal.
They have denounced Ag Bahanga’s group refusal to commit to the peace talks.

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