By BJ Bjornson
While the revolution/civil war/whatever in Libya seems to be grinding down, at least conventionally, with only Sirte and Bani Walid still holding out against the now-interim government of former rebels, the first signs of possible regional instability linked to Gaddafi�s overthrow are showing up. Tuareg fighters that had fought for Gaddafi have been streaming out of the country for some time, and have now apparently started up a new rebel group in Mali.
Ethnic Tuareg fighters returning to Mali from Libya are said to have helped to launch a new rebel group.
The National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad says it is the result of a merger between two rebel groups, boosted by Tuaregs who fought for Col Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.
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The BBC's Martin Vogl in the capital, Bamako, says this latest development is why Mali was such a strong supporter of the African Union position on Libya, which favoured a negotiated settlement instead of the Nato-led bombing campaign.
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Our correspondent says it not clear whether this group is capable of carrying out large scale military operations or is willing to do so, but that even if it were to launch some small raids on isolated military bases it would be a huge change in the status quo.
I honestly don�t have enough knowledge to know what the full implications of this is (Seriously, I figure the greatest extent of my knowledge of this particular region in Africa comes from a Hollywood adaptation of a Clive Cussler novel, and not a particularly good one at that). Still, it�s a good reminder that mucking about in the internal affairs on one country doesn�t mean the effects of that intervention will stop at that country�s borders. Definitely something to keep an eye on.