Offbeat: Kidal, northern strategic city, under Nocturne curfew

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  Kidal, ville stratégique du nord, sous couvre-feu nocturne © AFP

L A City of Kidal, strategic node in northern Mali, is now subject to an imposed curfew, not by the State, but by The coalition of armed groups predominantly Tuareg which controls it.

The curfew entered into force for the first time on the night of Monday to Tuesday, a resident said at AFP under the cover of anonymity. Two local officials joined remotely confirmed the establishment of the measure.

The curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 05:00 (local and GMT) is part of a device aimed at responding to the "security needs of the moment" and detailed in an official document of this coalition, the coordination of Azawad movements (CMA ).

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The document published this week is vague on the reasons for setting up this device, contenting itself with evoking the arrival of displaced people and the threat of the circulation of weapons.

The operation provides for road securing missions, systematic excavations and searches, underlines the CMA document.

Kidal occupies a special place in Sahelian geography, politics and consciences. It is a crucial step between Mali and Algeria , more than 1,500 km and 24 hours drive from the capital Bamako, hundreds of km from other major cities in the North, Gao and Timbuktu.

It is not the central state that rules it and reigns the order, but the CMA, which fought the State after the triggering of independence and Salafist insurrections in 2012 before signing a peace agreement in 2015. The jihadists continue to fight the Malian army and spread to the center of Mali and the Burkina Faso and the Niger neighbors.

The insubordination of Kidal, a major issue of sovereignty, remains a reason for irritation in Bamako, including for the junta now in power.

The Kidal region is relatively preserved from violence. But further south, the Gao and Ménaka sectors have been prey for months to fights between army, armed groups, jihadists, with civilians in the middle.

The residents of Kidal had said to an AFP correspondent recently their concern that violence does not win the region, where displaced populations are beginning to flow.

"We want to avoid any surprise," said a local official on condition of anonymity to an AFP correspondent.

09/27/2022 13:05:16-Bamako (AFP)-© 2022 AFP

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