After taking over the territories under the control of the Tuareg Imghad and Allied Self-Defense Group (Gatia) after the deadly clashes in the Kidal region, the Coordination of Azawad Movements (CMA) entered the town of Menaka without resistance, Friday, July 28, in the early evening.
A resident reached by Sahelien.com said the elements of the CMA were two kilometers from the town of Menaka yesterday at about 5 pm. “It was at nightfall that they entered on-board 5 vehicles. The peacekeepers had gone to the camp as well as the Malian armed forces. There was no fighting. After a few moments, they (the fighters) left on their arrival position north of the city”, said the resident.
The Movement for the Salvation of the Azawad (MSA), whose stronghold is Ménaka, said in a statement that members of the CMA “have contacted the president of the interim authority of Ménaka and the officers of the Movement For the Salvation of Azawad to reassure on their intentions. No shot was fired at Menaka. The MSA is securing the public buildings and the population (…) Everything is on track and no major incidents are reported.”
The CMA says it is present in Ménaka to “participate in the management of the city”. Meetings will be held today between armed groups including the CMA and the army and international forces to discuss this issue.
It is calm this morning in the city according to Sahelien.com correspondent on the spot. “The inhabitants go about their business. The Minusma is out for the patrol and the Malian army is also in town”, he added.
The founders of the MSA were members of the CMA up to the stage of setting up the interim authorities (provided for by the peace agreement) where they slammed the door to regain Ménaka.