Causes of the rebellion - 1990

NIGER - 1990 - The memory of Tchin Tabaraden

Tchin Tabaraden is a place in the Nigeran desert.

In May 1990, a large group of young Tuaregs decided to release their friends, arrested some days before, from the prison of Tchin Tabaraden. A dispute occurred between the young men and the guards, and one of them was killed. The young Tuaregs feared a reaction of the Authorities and fled. They were never found. The attack resulted in 31 deaths, 25 from among the attackers.

The news of these deaths soon reached the main cities of Niger, and a hundred soldiers were hurried the the region, with orders to search the region and find the culprits. The soldiers did not even know what really happened at the prison; consequently, many Tuaregs were arrested and killed from that sector.

This event is now ten years old, but for many Tuaregs it is a sad day to remember. The massacre of Tchin Tabaraden is still today the main argument with which the Tuaregs reproach the Nigeran Governement.

MALI - 1990 - The fear of a repetition of Tchin Tabaraden

From independence to 1990, the Tuaregs of Mali were not integrated into institutional life. As a result many Malians consider them foreigners or barbarians (the ethymology of the word is explicit!). From a historical point of view, Tuaregs have always been considered as violent warriors. The Malian folk - not well informed of the facts - deduced from this new insurrection that this ancestral violence had been invoked.

In 1990, Moussa Traore lead the present government, with Mali under a One Party Regime. The young Tuaregs inspired by the Tuareg neighbours of Niger took to their weapons and began the first movement Tuareg of resistance in Mali.