Mali: Disputed Change at the Head of Gatia, a Tuareg Armed Group Signatory to the Peace Agreement

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

The transitional authorities have maneuvered what the historic leader describes as a “masquerade” by setting up a new office with a new secretary general at its head, according to a July 10th document from the Tuareg Imghad and Allied Self-Defense Group (Gatia). Gatia is one of the armed groups in the North that signed the 2015 peace agreement and is a member of the Platform, which always defended the unity of Mali.

Youssouf Ag Mohamed personally wrote to the Malian Minister for National Reconciliation, Colonel Ismaël Wagué, to inform him of his appointment as the new Secretary General of the Gatia, at the head of a bloated office of 65 members. In his letter, he virulently criticizes his predecessor, Fahad Ag Al Mahmoud, for his “management failures” and his “dividing and fragmented work with devastating effects on peace”.

Fahad Ag Almahmoud contests, according to him, his mandate runs until 2024. He denounces an “attempted usurpation” and asks Minister Wagué not to act “outside his prerogatives” by choosing to recognize this new office. He affirms in passing that some members of this new office were not even consulted. This change, which the ministry took note of two days later, even addressed its “congratulations” to the new office.

Several sources within the two “camps” of the Gatia share at least the same explanation, the historical secretary general of the Gatia has become too critical of the transitional authorities. His involvement in the CSP (Permanent Strategic Framework), a structure that brings together the armed groups that signed the peace agreement, in open conflict with the Bamako authorities, would also be the cause of his disgrace. And the reason why General El Hadj Ag Gamou, Tuareg of the Malian army and founder of the Gatia, would have liked to disembark him.

Soukaina Sghir

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