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For other uses, see Kidal (disambiguation).
Commune and town
House of craftsmen
House of craftsmen
Kidal is located in Mali
Location in Mali
Coordinates: 18°26′20″N 1°24′30″E / 18.43889°N 1.40833°E / 18.43889; 1.40833Coordinates: 18°26′20″N 1°24′30″E / 18.43889°N 1.40833°E / 18.43889; 1.40833
Country  Mali
Region Kidal Region
Cercle (district): Kidal Cercle
 • Total 9,913 km2 (3,827 sq mi)
Population (2009)[1]
 • Total 25,617
 • Density 2.6/km2 (6.7/sq mi)

Kidal (Tuareg-Berber: ⴾⴸⵍ, Kidal) is a town and commune in the desert region of northern Mali. The town lies 285 km (177 mi) northeast of Gao and is the capital of the Kidal Cercle and the Kidal Region. The commune has an area of about 9,910 km2 (3,830 sq mi) and includes the town of Kidal and 31 other settlements.[2]

On 30 March 2012, Kidal and its military base were captured by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad as part of the Tuareg rebellion for the independence of Azawad. A spokesman for the Malian military junta said "To preserve the life of the people of Kidal, the military command decided not to prolong the battle".[3] Gao and Timbuktu were captured within the next 48 hours, and on 6 April, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad declared the independence of Azawad from Mali.[4][5] In the course of the conflict the MNLA lost their control to Islamist militias.[6] On 30 January 2013 French and Malian forces moved into the town to bring it back under government control.[7]

On 14 December 2013, a car bombing in Kidal killed two United Nations peacekeepers.[8]

On 21 May 2014, MNLA forced government troops in Kidal to retreat after heavy fighting, capturing the military base.[9]



Kidal has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh), characterized by extreme heat and dryness all year-round. Most of the rainfall only falls during the short "wet season" from June to september with an annual average of 119 mm. The annual mean temperature is about 29 ºC (84.2 ºF).


  1. ^ Resultats Provisoires RGPH 2009 (Région de Kidal) (PDF), République de Mali: Institut National de la Statistique 
  2. ^ Communes de la Région de Kidal (PDF) (in French), Ministère de l’administration territoriale et des collectivités locales, République du Mali .
  3. ^ "Mali coup: Rebels seize desert capital Kidal". BBC News. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Tuareg rebels declare the independence of Azawad, north of Mali". Al Arabiya. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012. .
  5. ^ Billal Ag Acherif (6 April 2012). "Déclaration D’Indépendance De L'Azawad" [Declaration of Independence of Azawad] (Press release) (in French). Gao: National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  6. ^ Morgan, Andy (23 October 2012). "Mali: no rhythm or reason as militants declare war on music". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Mali conflict: French 'enter last rebel town of Kidal'". BBC News. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Mali unrest: Kidal attack kills two UN peacekeepers". BBC News. 14 December 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mali: Tuareg rebels 'defeat government army in Kidal'". BBC News. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 

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