Clashes erupted between militants from the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA) - an alliance of Tuareg-led separatist groups - and the Platform armed group - a coalition of pro-government militias - in Aguelhok (Kidal region, northern Mali) on Thursday, July 6. At least three people were reportedly killed in the fighting. According to a local source close to the CMA, the clashes were in retaliation for an attack against a CMA camp carried out earlier in the week.
Such clashes between the CMA and Platform occur on a regular basis. A peace agreement was signed in June 2015 between the government, CMA rebels, and the Platform coalition in a bid to enhance local participatory governance and restore state authority in northern Mali. However, due to the complexity of the situation the agreement has not yet been fully implemented.
As the security environment in Mali remains complex, particularly in the northern and central regions, professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
On a separate note, due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. When going out, always carry a reliable means of communication and inform a trusted contact of where you are going and when you plan to return.