The Tuaregs: From African Nomads to Smugglers and Mercenaries


ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images Tuaregs on camelback Sept. 25, 2010, during a festival in northern Niger

The Tuaregs, a nomadic tribe in North and West Africa, dominated the caravan trade through the Sahara Desert for thousands of years. Their entire way of life was disrupted, however, by the imposition of borders, natural desertification, urbanization and the rise of maritime trade. In their quest to survive, the Tuaregs have launched several revolts in Mali and Niger, fought as mercenaries in the Libyan civil war and used their expertise to smuggle illicit goods, which brought them into contact with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). It is the development of these skills and links to AQIM that have brought the Tuaregs to Western governments’ attention.  More here: The Tuaregs: From African Nomads to Smugglers and Mercenaries | STRATFOR.

2 Responses to “The Tuaregs: From African Nomads to Smugglers and Mercenaries”

  1. What proportion of the Tuaregs are involved in these ‘military’ operations? What alternatives are there for the people portion? I am asking this, because Stratfor never answeres my questions. Perhaps other readers here will know. Thanks.

  2. It looks like the western propaganda has gone through. 😦
    The Touareg have no connection to AQIM! Tamasheq have declared war to AQIM and are suffering a lot because of its existance. For the sake of humanity and the thruth I wish that people would be more informed before they write things like this!

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