The Tuareg have been fighting the government of Mali on and off for more than a century. Their rebellion intensified when the fiercely independent Tuareg allied themselves with Islamic Jihadists to fight the government and made huge territorial gains in the north of the country.
This week, the French launched a military intervention in Mali- once a French colony. The U.S. State Department is also considering limited involvement, including logistical support and training for intervention forces in the region. The Tuareg, however, just want to continue eeking out their lives in the desert.
Filmmaker Ron Wyman tracked Bombino down in Burkina Faso, where he was living in exile. That was the beginning of a creative collaboration that produced the iTunes best-selling album, Agadez and the feature film, Agadez: The Music and the Rebellion. We spoke with Ron in March about discovering Bombino, and we thought hearing him again would provide a timely window into a little known tribe of nomads who are now in the news.
Al Arabiya unpacks current French relations in Mali here:
In addition, NPR's Michele Kelemen explains potential U.S. involvement in Mali: