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The "Tuareg Tumujgha Republic" hoax

Last modified: 2012-02-25 by ivan sache
Keywords: tuareg | tumujgha | hoax | stars: 7 (white) |
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[Flag of Tumujgha Republic]

Flag of the alleged "Tumujgha Republic" - Image by Ivan Sache, 28 June 2008

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The alleged "Tumujgha Republic"

On 19 September 2007, the blog of the Parti National Touareg (PNT, Tuareg National Party) announced the creation of the République Touarègue Tumoujgha, scheduled to the 20 September 2007.
The "Act of Foundation" of the Republic starts with a long listing of the grievances of the Tuaregs against the French colonial system and the governments of Mali and Niger (some of them being fully relevant), and a call to the Declaration of the Rights of the Autochtonous Peoples, voted by the United Nations on 13 September 2007. Then the unsigned, collective act says:

[We] declare, as of today Thursday the 20th September 2007, the set up of the République Touarègue Tumoujgha on the historical lands of the Tuareg nation, that is 2/3 of Niger and 1/2 of Mali:
1. The Tuareg Nation shall have for language Tamashek and for script Tifinagh
2. It shall be a non-religious republic with its own army, called taghd and its own government
3. The political capital of this republic shall be the historic town of Agadez
4. Our State shall be democratic and based on Federalism
5. Our fundamental texts shall be included into the "Blue Book"
6. Our national anthem shall be Tanakra Tumest. 7. Our flag shall be [to be described below].

On 22 September 2007, the blog published a declaration by the anonymous President of the République de Tumoujgha (further written Tumoujga and Tumoufgha) calling the miltary forces and administration of Mali and Niger to withdraw from the Republic and the Tuaregs to come back to their homeland.
On 23 September 2007, the blog published a letter of the President of the République de Tumoujgha (Pays Touareg) to the Presidents of Mali, Niger, Libya and Algeria, introducing the new Republic and requiring the set up of pacific relationships. On 1 October 2007, the blog published a letter of the President of the Nation-État Tumoujgha and of the Peuple autochtone Touareg to the Secretary General of the United Nations, applying for immediate membership.

The announcement of the Republic was freshly received in Mali and Niger, causing political debates and mediatic quasi-hystery, as aired in the last three messages posted by the President of the Republic on the PNT blog (8 October, 13 October and 13 November 2007).
Tuareg leaders faithful to the Government of Mali quickly denounced the Republic. Assarid Ag Imbarcawane, the Second Vice President of the National Assembly, said that "a Republic shall not be proclaimed on the Internet" and pointed out some inconsistencies in the "Act of Foundation", especially the omission of the Hoggar region (Algeria) among the "historical lands of the Tuareg Nation" (L'Indépendant, 27 September 2007).
Moroever, the map of the Republic published on the PNT blog also omits Libyan territory, limiting the new state to Mali and Niger. There are several more inconsistencies in the texts published in the PNT (a party which does not seem to be know to anyone), especially in the written form of the name of the Republic. The image of the "Blue Book" bears the title République Amazighe de Toumoujagha - Le Libre Bleu (Libre, "free", instead of Livre, "book").
There is even a second blog, very similar in its design and address to the PNT blog, with only two messages - the "Act of Foundation", dated 25 September, and the message to the presidents of the neighbouring countries, undated. Interestingly enough, this blog mentions "2/3 of Niger, 1/4 of Algeria, a part of Libya and 1/2 of Mali", with the matching map, showing parts of Libya and Algeria added to the Republic.

These facts seem to indicate quite clearly that the proclamation was nothing but a hoax made by a prank (some blogs claim that the MNJ [Mouvement des Nigériens pour la Justice, Niger's Movement for Justice], Islamists movements or the Government of Niger are behind the hoax, but without producing any evidence). Unfortunately, several websites and blogs have blindly reproduced the President's claims and announced "the proclamation of the Tuareg national state" without the least concern about the source of information: this is sad for the Internet, which seems to be more and more the world's cesspool, and, mostly, for the Tuaregs, who are really in a difficult situation and deserve much better care.

Ivan Sache, 28 June 2008

Flag of the alleged "Tumujgha Republic"

Article 7 of the " Act of Foundation" of the Republic prescribes the flag as follows:

Our flag shall be made of seven stars representing the seven historic confederations of the Tuareg Nation, on a blue field symbolizing the purity of our sky; below a central yellow stripe symbolizing the Sahara's sand, charged with the red letter Ezza (Z), symbolizing our martyres' blood, with on the left a green triangle representing an oasis.

That is, a yellow flag charged with a red Ezza letter, a green triangle along the hoist and a thin blue stripe charged with seven white stars on the top of the flag.
On the coat of arms, the base of the shield is green with some black traditional decoration.

The seven historic confederations are detailed in the preamble of the Act as "Ahaggar, Ajjer, Aïr, Azawagh, Adghagh, Tadamakkat and Oudalan". The Tuareg tradition indeed reports these seven confederations (kel, each ruled by a chief called amenokal), but the territories they ruled is much bigger than the territory claimed by the Republic:
1. Ahaggar (aka Hoggar; Algeria and Niger)
2. Ajjer (aka Tassilin'Ajer; Algeria and Libya)
3. Aïr (Niger) 4. Azawagh (Niger and Mali)
5. Adghagh (Mali)
6. Tadamakkat (Mali)
7. Oudalan (Burkina Faso)
An article published in Temoust on 5 October 2007, analyzing the "Act of Foundation", recalls that there are, historically, much more Tuareg tribes and confederations than mentioned in the tradition and in the "Act of Foundation".

Ivan Sache, 28 June 2008