They are not mercenaries
For some time now, a certain section of the Malian and international press have been creating confusion in the public opinion, both national and international, by claiming that the combatants of the MNLA's senior command are all ex-soldiers and mercenaries of Ghadafi who have fled Libya.
The MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad) would like to make it clear that within the MNLA military command there are: old rebels from the uprisings of the 1990s (MFUA - Movements of the united Fronts of Azawad), of 2006 (MTNM - The Tuareg Movement of Northern Mali, which was lead by the late Ibrahim Ag Bahanga), fighters who have returned from Libya but who mostly participated in the liberation of that country, volunteers from the various ethnicities of northern Mali (Tuareg, Songhai, Peul and Moor) and both soldiers and officers who have deserted from the Malian army.
We confirm and underline that the combatants who returned from Libya, fought with the NTC (National Transitional Council) forces more than they did with Ghadafi's forces.
Our senior military commander Mohammed Ag Najm, was certainly a Libyan officer of Malian origin, serving under the Ghadafi regime like all Libyan officers. Colonel Mohammed Ag Najm expressed his disagreement with the Libyan leader very early on, at the beginning of the insurrection is Libya and this disagreement was confirmed by his resignation from his Libyan army and his enrolment alongside his own people in this present struggle for the liberation of Azawad.
On behalf of the Political Bureau of the MNLA
Mossa Ag Attaher