Ironically, it is during the few days of the junta’s power that the situation became worst in the north of Mali. At the end of March and the beginning of April, the MNLA claimed having control over strategic cities such as Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu, being thus in control of half the country. The movement even declared the Azawad independence on April 6, although nobody recognized it. And as if the situation was not enough critical, different armed salafist groups also asserted being in control of these cities. First of all, Ansar ed-Dine (“the religion defenders”), a Tuareg islamist movement which demands the application of the Islamic law in the north of Mali. Conducted by the famous Iyad ag Ghali, former chief of the Tuareg rebellions of the 90’s then mediator for the Malian state during the negotiations with AQIM
, the fighters paraded in the streets of Timbuktu the day of its fall, April 2. Soon after, the AQIM presence has been noticed with the apparition of the chief Mokhtar Belmokhtar in Gao then Timbuktu. Followed the diffusion of diverse information, reporting the two movements alliance in their new role of extremist Islamic chiefs : closing bars, fire of churches, pillages. News one has to consider carefully given the chaotic situation of the region, closed to journalists. In addition there was the arrival of another jihadist group named MUJAO (Mouvement pour l’unicité et le jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest) which has claimed the kidnapping of Algerian diplomats in Gao on April 8. Finally, members of Boko Haram
, a Nigerian islamist sect which terrorizes Nigeria, were also seen in the region. A blurred and explosive situation which alerts the neighboring and western countries wishing to preserve the territorial integrity of Mali and to fight against the implementation of the islamist threat in a desired region.