The recent political crisis in Mali has something to do with the Tuareg people that live in this region and the general religion of the region. The Tuareg people are nomadic farmers. North Africa is primarily Muslim and is heavily influenced by what happens in the Muslim world.
Muslim rebel groups like the Ansar Dine seek a nation that abides by Islamic Law. Others like the Islamic Movement for Azawad seek an independent state in Northern Mali and acknowledgement of that state by the world. Mali, like most of North Africa seeks an Islamic government.
The NMLA (the National Movement for Liberation of Azawad) is a Tuareg lead group that is fighting for the rights of the nomadic Tuareg people. Mali’s government has never really had much power. In 1979 when the constitution was established Mali still remained under the heavy military control. Then when Mali was a democratic government citizens question the government’s legitimacy when president Toure won in a landslide election in 2002. In 2012 Captain Amadou Sanogo lead a military that ousted president Toure. Also the government has had trouble dealing with rebel groups in the north.
Rebel groups like the Ansar Dine and Mujao have taken control of many cities in North Mali. These rebel groups are growing stronger in the passing months, and the government has not been able to stop it. The citizens have had little say in Mali, there was a brief period from 1991 tot the present where the citizens have had a say in the government, the Malian government for the most part has been an authoritarian government. Civilian protest has had little effect on the government in place. The only groups that have been able to make any change are the extremist rebel groups that have taken control of the north.
The Mali army is ill equipped to fight this rebel threat. Under president Amadou Toure, the government put their money and resources into fight the MNLA and had ignored the Islamic groups. This allowed the Islamic rebel groups to grow more powerful. Many of the rebels are veterans from Libyan revolution this past year, bringing expertise and powerful weapons into the fray the Captain Sanogo in 2012 promised to fight the Islamic rebels, but the ill-equipped under funded Mali army was no match for the rebel extremists and lost even more control of the North.
There are people that have been victims of rebel attacks, some need medical attention, but the government is doing nothing to aid them. The penetration of government policy and laws to the local levels of government has been quite ineffective. Northern Mali is under heavy Islamic control and some parts have been known to follow Sharia law and other Islamic laws. There is a strict dress code on how women should dress.
The National government has virtually no power in northern Mali. Mali is a once democratic nation under military influence. The nation is fighting strong resistance from their Mulism and Tuareg communities. It’s government is losing control of the situation and has virtually lost it’s northern half to extremists. Mali’s government has problems distributing goods to its citizens. The Mali government will need international assistance to combat the resistance in the North.