Imghad Tuareg Self-Defense Group and Allies

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Imghad Tuareg Self-Defense Group and Allies
Groupe autodéfense touareg Imghad et alliés
Participant in the Northern Mali conflict
Logo of GATIA.png
Active14 August 2014 (2014-08-14) – present
IdeologyImghad Tuareg interests
Political positionPro-Malian government; Malian sovereignty over Azawad
LeadersEl Hadj Ag Gamou
(military commander)
Fahad Ag Almahmoud
(secretary general)
HeadquartersSomewhere between the Gao and Kidal regions
Area of operationsGao Region, Kidal Region
Size500–1,000[1]
Part ofPlatform of Self-Defense Movements
AlliesState allies

Non-state allies

Opponent(s) Al-Qaeda

 ISIL

  • Islamic State in the Greater Sahara
Battles and war(s)Northern Mali conflict
FlagGATIA flag.svg

The Imghad Tuareg Self-Defense Group and Allies (French: Groupe autodéfense touareg Imghad et alliés, abbreviated GATIA) is an armed group in Azawad, Mali. Many of its 500 to 1,000 fighters[1] are Imghad Tuaregs, and the group supports the Malian government and army.[2]

History[edit]

GATIA was founded on 14 August 2014[3] as a self-defense group of armed locals, in response to the Malian Army's defeat in the 2nd Battle of Kidal on 21 May 2014 by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).[4]

In collaboration with French forces, GATIA and the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA) launched a joint-operation on 23 February 2018 to capture or kill Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the ISIL commander in Mali. Sahrawi managed to evade capture, but six ISIL militants were killed in the clashes.[5]

GATIA-MSA forces clashed with ISIL militants from 2 to 5 June 2018. ISIL commanders Almahmoud Ag Akawkaw was captured, while Amat Ag Assalate was killed during the battle.[6]

Ideology[edit]

GATIA is a pro-Malian government group, and is opposed to the MNLA and an independent Azawad.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ahmed, Baba (29 April 2016). "Mali : le business du cantonnement ? – JeuneAfrique.com". JeuneAfrique.com (in French). Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Nord du Mali: naissance d'un groupe armé opposé à l'autodétermination - RFI". RFI Afrique (in French). Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Un nouveau groupe armé créé par des Touareg dans le nord du Mali Bamako Mali". AFP via Malijet (in French). Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Mali: Kidal aux mains des rebelles, appel présidentiel au cessez-le-feu". ladepeche.fr (in French). 22 May 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Tuareg militias battle Islamic State-loyal militants in northern Mali - FDD's Long War Journal". 25 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Une alliance Touareg revendique plus d'opérations contre l'EI dans le Grand Sahara dans le nord du Mali". Intellivoire (in French). 5 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.