National Movement for The Liberation of Azawad (MNLA): Azawad (Mali)
The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) was founded around 2011. The group was formed from a fusion of militant groups in the north of Mali. MNLA is pressing for an independent Azawad from the government of Mali.
Most MNLA fighters and secessionists are from the Tuareg ethnic group. The MNLA complains of marginalization and deprivation by the relatively more prosperous government in the south of the country.
Azawad, the proposed country, is mostly desert and sparsely populated but includes the historic cities of Gao and Timbuktu.