The secretary general of the group, Alghabasse Intalla Ag, comes from a large Tuareg family from the Kidal region, who participated in the talks in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) on behalf of Ansar Dine. Among the dissidents there was also the former spokesman of Ansar Dine: Mohamed Ag Arib.
The group says it dissociates from Ansar Dine and wants to negotiate for a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Mali. In a public statement, they also try to induce France and Mali to stop the hostilities in the regions of Kidal and Menaka, without mentioning the regions of Timbuktu and Gao, which are controlled by AQIM and MUJAO.
They say they are also ready to fight “extremism” and “terrorism.”
Founded: January 2013, as a split group of Ansar Dine
Country of origin: Mali
Ideology: Conservative Islam (non-Jihadist), Autonomist Tuareg
Type: Rebel, although they are more of a political movement
Objective: Search for a peaceful solution of the conflict through negotiation
Leader: Alghabass Ag Intalla
Strenght: at least two hundred
State of War: actively involved in conflict
Armament: small arms, armed trucks, RPG’s
Operational territory: Kidal and Meneka regions in Mali
Tactics: negotiation, but when in combat probably guerilla tactics will be used
UPDATE 03-05-2013: reports say that about 200 armed MIA fighters have been sighted near Kidal in April. Ag Intalla said it depends on the willingness of (the government in) Bamako to negotiate peace if they will engage or not. Apparently MIA prefers a non-violent solution for the conflict, but doesn’t hesitate to show their force and make threats when necessary.