Ganda Iso

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Ganda Iso
Participant in Tuareg rebellion (1990–95)
2012 insurgency in northern Mali
LeadersSeydou Cissé
Amadou Diallo
Area of operationsMali
Size1,300 (July 2012)[1]
Originated asGanda Koy
Allies Mali
Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa
Opponent(s) National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad[2]

Ganda Iso, or Ganda Izo, meaning "Sons of Land", is a paramilitary group which emerged in Northern Mali in the early 21st century and has been active during the 2012 Northern Mali Conflict.


The Ganda Koy movement was founded in May 1994, by Seydou Cissé, as a response to rising tensions between Tuaregs and sedentary black tribes of the Gao Region, in northern Mali. Ganda Koy fighters were recruited among Songhai, Bambara, Fulani, Bozo and Tuareg-Bella tribesmen.[3] [2]

Ganda Koy immediately rejected the “National Pact” for peace signed in April 1992.The movement then embraced a racist anti-Tuareg ideology, in response to what it perceived as Tuareg oppression.[3]

Ganda Koy later transformed into Ganda Iso, which is seen as its direct successor.[4][2]

Touareg Conflict[edit]

In 1994, Ganda Koy actions amounted to 60-300 deaths.[3]

In 2008, a Ganda Iso military leader, Sergeant Amadou Diallo, conducted a "broad daylight massacre" where four Tuareg civilians were killed. This resulted in a split between Diallo and the civilian leadership of the movement.[4]

Amadou Diallo was reportedly killed in Ansongo, in a battle against MNLA rebels on 25 March 2012.[4]

On 1 September 2012, the town of Douentza, in the Mopti Region, until then controlled by Ganda Iso, is taken without violence by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa.[5]


  1. ^ Mali's Self-Defense Militias Take the Reconquest of the North Into Their Own Hands (Jamestown Foundation), 10 August 2012
  2. ^ a b c Mahjar-Barducci, Anna (6 July 2012). "MNLA: The Fight For A Secular State Of Azawad – Part II: Fighting Terror In The Sahel". Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No.854. Middle East Media Research Institute. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "OECD Report" (PDF). 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c McGregor, Andrew (20 April 2012). ""The Sons of the Land": Tribal Challenges to the Tuareg Conquest of Northern Mali". Terrorism Monitor Volume: 10 Issue: 8. Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Mali: des islamistes à la lisière Nord-Sud". Le Figaro. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013.