In May, members of the Tuareg ethnic group attacked and occupied military camps in the region of Kidal and Menaka town. The attackers, led by a former member of a Tuareg armed group who joined the army following a 1992 peace agreement, withdrew from the camps a day later, after stealing weapons and equipment. Their demands included greater government support for the development and autonomy of regions populated by Tuaregs. In July, an accord was reached between the armed groups and the government. The Tuaregs abandoned their claims for autonomy and the government pledged to increase development efforts in the northern regions, particularly in Kidal.
Attacks on freedom of expression
In August, six staff members of Radio Kayira, including Amadou Nanko Mariko, managing director of the Koutiala radio station, Sidi Traoré and Mohamed Diakité, were arrested in Niono for broadcasting without a licence. They were later charged with opposing the authority of the state and sentenced to one-month prison terms and a fine. They lodged an appeal. The Radio Kayira network belongs to a political party represented in the government, African Solidarity for Democracy and Independence (Solidarité africaine pour la démocratie et l'indépendance, SADI).
In March, Zoumana Diarra and M'Pié Diarra were sentenced to death by the Bamako Assize Court for criminal offences including murder and poisoning. No executions have taken place in Mali during the last decade. A private member's bill on the abolition of the death penalty was presented to the National Assembly in April, but had not been voted on by the end of the year.