Mali: Tuareg Rebels Declare Independence

Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) on Friday proclaimed the “independence of Azawad (north Mali),” citing 50 years of bad governance and UN articles on the rights of native people.

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) made the statement on its website, adding that it would respect other states’ borders.

“We solemnly proclaim the independence of Azawad as from today,” said Mossa Ag Attaher, who added that the rebels would respect “the borders with other states.”

The group is one of two rebel groups to have gained ground in the area after Mali’s government was ousted.

Coup leaders took over in protest at the failure to stem the rebellion.

The declaration comes as rights group Amnesty International warned that Mali was on the brink of a major humanitarian disaster in the wake of the rebellion.

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