Timbuktu has become the latest city to fall to rebels in northern Mali. It is less than two weeks since frustrated Malian soldiers seized power in the country with the idea of stepping up the battle against them. But since then Tuareg rebels have made rapid gains. However, according to Hama Ag Mahmoud who is a spokesman for their political wing, Tuareg aims are limited.
“ Our objective is not to go further than the Azawad borders. We don’t want to create problems for the government of Mali, and even less create problems for the sub-region. We don’t want to give anyone the impression that we are gung-ho for the war, so for now we have liberated our territories and our objective is achieved, we stop there,” explained Hama Ag Mahmoud.
Azawad is the name given to the independent state the Tuareg would like to create.
The Tuareg rebels, who are operating alongside another group who want to introduce sharia law, have taken three regional capitals in as many days.
With international pressure adding to his problems, Captain Sanogo who led the March coup has made a U-turn and pledged to reinstate the constitution.
Mali’s neighbours who are to hold a summit in Senegal today are threatening sanctions unless civilian rule is restored.