An alliance of rebels in the north of Mali have declared independence as the state of Azawad. The transitional government of Mali has rejected the move and the state has not been recognised so far internationally either.
The minister of information said:"The government of Mali categorically rejects the idea of the creation of an Azawad state, even more so of an Islamic state," Earlier Islamic groups and Tuareg rebels had been at odds in the northern territory but after extended talks they have agreed to merge or at least cooperate in forming an independent state in the north. The groups have taken control of most if not all of the territory.
The two groups are National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad and the Islamic Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith). Alghabass Intalla a leader of Ansar Dine said:"I have just signed an accord that will see an independent and Islamic state where we have Islamic law
This move will ensure help from the U.S. who already have a few special forces in Mali. The Mali military has been trained by the U.S. including the leader of the recent coup against the elected president., Captain Sanogo Some claim the Ansar Dine group is linked with Al Qaeda particularly Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
While the coup's rationale was that the Mali government was not pursuing rebels in the north with sufficient vigor, after the coup the country is still trying to maintain some stability in the south. The coup leader transferred power to a transitional government. In the meanwhile rebels took control of the entire northern part of Mali. In time with the help of the U.S. one can expect war and violence in the north again aided by the U.S. in the name of the war on terrorism. For more see this article.