2, October 2023
The Malian army began redeploying troops on Monday towards the northern rebel stronghold of Kidal, two security officials said, amid a resumption of hostilities in the region.
“As part of the reorganisation of our arrangements in the north, we have begun the redeployment of our forces in the northeastern region of Kidal,” a Mali military official who spoke on condition of anonymity told AFP.
A convoy left the northern city of Gao, which lies 300 kilometres (185 miles) southwest of Kidal, early Monday, the source added.
Another security official said the convoy was made up of 119 vehicles and was currently stopped on the road to the north of Gao.
National security chiefs made the deployment decision at a meeting late on Sunday, he added.
Kidal is a crossroads region in the north that is not under the control of the Malian state but of a coalition of predominantly Tuareg groups called the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA).
Since the end of August, the north of Mali has seen a resumption of hostilities by the CMA and an intensification of jihadist attacks against the army.
The fact that Kidal is still controlled by the ex-rebels continues to pose a sovereignty issue and remains a source of irritation for Bamako, including for the junta.
Military leaders have made re-establishing state control across the whole country one of their main messages.