Niger’s regime heaped praise on the Malian junta for the liberation of Kidal , a town in the country’s north, on November 14. reports BBC News.
The Malian town had been under the tight grip of Tuareg seperatists and the army has battled against them to regain control of it.
It is believed that around 700,000 Tuaregs live in Mali and 2.7 million in neighbouring Niger.
“This martyred town had remained under the grip of terrorists and their sponsors, who are responsible for destabilising Mali and the Sahel as a whole,” said Colonel Major Abdramane Amadou, a member of Niger’s National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).
Burkina Faso, also a Malian ally, drew their attention to the scenes in Kidal and noted that it was a key moment in the combat against armed groups in the Sahel.
For a decade, the Sahel region as a whole has been awashed with terror organisations with links to prominent groups Daesh and Al-Qaeda.
Since the Malian junta seized power as a result of a coup that ousted President Bah Ndaw in 2021, the Kidal-controlling separatist movement have been a thorn in their side, posing a major sovereignty issue for them.
For a long period of time, the army and government have been absent from the town as gunmen have run riot.
Mali’s President Assimi Goita wrote on X (previously Twitter), “Today, our armed and security forces have taken over Kidal. Our mission is not complete.” .
The armed separatists, who still have a notable influence in Mali’s north, claimed that their decision to depart from Kidal was tactical.