Mali: Gamou, a general as uncontrollable as he is indispensable

By Bokar Sangaré
Posted on Tuesday, 10 May 2022 12:05

El Hadj Ag Gamou with his men in Gao, Mali, 9 February 2013. ©Jessica Vieux

A photo showing General El Haji Ag Gamou in uniform, beret on his head, in the company of Colonel (and defence minister) Sadio Camara in a suit and tie, circulated on social networks in early January. However, little information has leaked out about this meeting.

On that day, alongside Minister Camara, a dozen soldiers sat around the table, responding to a summons from General Gamou. A member of the Imghad Tuareg Self-Defence Group and Allies (Gatia), of which Gamou is said to be the leader, tells the story: “Breaking the heavy silence in the room, the general, who had just returned from Gao, said to the crowd: ‘Am I the traitor? If that’s what you think, let’s go to the field and you’ll see which side I’m going to shoot at.’”