Tuareg rebels are expelling black residents from the northern Mali city of Kidal. The lighter-skinned Tuareg ethnic group currently rule the city. Mali has historically been divided along racial and geographic lines.
“This morning, the people of the NMLA read a communique on the radio in Kidal informing us that all blacks that are not known as having been long-term residents of Kidal will be expelled in the direction of Mali, meaning towards Gao, to the south of Kidal,” said Ali Cisse, a black resident of the town.
A spokesman for the rebel National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA, acknowledged that around 200 people had been arrested over the weekend, though he said all but roughly a dozen had been freed as of Monday. Moussa Ag Assarid explained that the NMLA had received a tip indicating that officers in Mali’s intelligence services were trying to infiltrate the town, and therefore they are checking the identity of all the townspeople. “It’s not a question of white or black,” he said. “It’s a matter of our security.” Source: USA Today