Mali’s army moved closer Saturday to the strategically important northern town of Kidal that is held by Touareg separatist and rebel groups, army and political sources said.
Since seizing power in a coup in 2020 the African country’s military rulers have made a priority of re-establishing sovereignty over all regions and Kidal could become a key battleground.
“We are a few dozen kilometres (miles) from Kidal,” an army officer told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We are continuing our progress to secure the whole territory.”
Two local elected representatives, also speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said there was fighting near Kidal.