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Azawad’s Facebook Warriors

The MNLA, Social Media, and the Malian Civil War


Michael Keen

In January 2012, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), a group dominated by members of the Tuareg ethnic group, launched a military uprising seeking the independence of Mali’s vast but sparsely populated north as the democratic, secular nation-state of Azawad.  Azawad’s Facebook Warriors tells the extraordinary story of a small group of social media activists who sought to broadcast the MNLA’s cause to the world. Azawad’s Facebook Warriors offers a groundbreaking new study of the MNLA’s use of social media through the original analysis of more than 8,000 pro-MNLA Facebook posts published over a four-year period and interviews with key architects of the MNLA’s media strategy. The book further places the MNLA’s social media activism in context through a nuanced treatment of northern Mali’s history and an unparalleled blow-by-blow account of the MNLA’s role in the Malian civil war from 2012 through 2015. More broadly, through the case study of the MNLA, the book argues that studying rebel social media communications, a field that has until now unfortunately received scant scholarly attention, will prove an increasingly important tool in understanding rebel groups in coming years and decades.
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Appendix 2: Links to Selected Images Posted or Shared by Official Accounts Referenced in Chapter 6


This appendix contains links to select images referenced in Chapter 6. Only links to images posted or shared by official accounts are included here to protect the privacy of the non-official accounts. All links worked at time of writing. However, because all images in question were intentionally made visible by the poster to everyone on Facebook and the poster can change the privacy settings of any post at any time, the images’ continued visibility cannot be guaranteed. Links are presented in the order in which they are referenced in Chapter 6, with dates.

Mahamadou Djéri Maïga, April 24, 2013 (shared):

Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, July 9, 2013:

Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, December 27, 2014:

Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, March 15, 2015:←165 | 166→

Mossa Ag Attaher, April 6, 2015:

Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, September 6, 2013:

Mossa Ag Attaher, September 8, 2015:

Mossa Ag Attaher, November 15, 2014:

Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, January 7, 2014:

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