The Aguser War ( also known as the “Christmas War” ) is a border conflict between Mali and Burkina Faso that occurred in 1985 .
Agasher on Burkina Faso map
|date||December 25 - 30, 1985|
|A place||Mali and Burkina Faso border|
|Total||Victory Mali. International Court of Justice.|
|Changes||Agashirskaya strip divided equally|
|Forces of the parties|
Causes of Conflict
The agucher band is located in the north-east of Burkina Faso and is considered to be rich in natural gas and mineral resources . For a long time, the affiliation of the band has been disputed by Mali . Both sides hoped that the exploitation of the resources of this region would help to improve their domestic economic situation  .
Some researchers believe that the conflict could have been deliberately provoked to divert the attention of the population of both countries from domestic problems caused by the return to military rule in Burkina Faso and the growing unpopularity of the military regime of Musa Traore in Mali  .
First Conflict (1974)
For the first time, the dispute escalated into an armed conflict on November 25, 1974 , when a clash occurred between border guards on the border of the two countries. In late December, several more shootings occurred at the border. Losses on both sides were minimal  .
The mediation efforts of the presidents of Togo and Niger Gnassingbe Eyadema and Seini Kunche were unsuccessful, sporadic clashes continued and in early 1975 reached a peak. This prompted the Organization of African Unity to create a commission to resolve the crisis. The mediators recommended creating a neutral commission for demarcating the border. At a meeting held on June 18, 1975 in Lomé , both parties accepted this proposal  .
In 1982, Tomas Sankara came to power in Upper Volta (since 1984 - Burkina Faso), determined to put an end to the border dispute. Relations between the two countries worsened when the Malian diplomat Driss Keita was expelled from Burkina Faso. Meetings between diplomats of both countries to discuss the territorial issue did not work, and the radical sentiment continued to grow. Some newspapers of Burkina Faso accused Mali of preparing an invasion. Mali denied the allegations and blamed Burkina Faso for escalating tensions. By 1985, both countries had experienced several years of drought. The rain finally came at the end of 1985, but it washed away the roads and interfered with the distribution of food and medicine in the region.
At the end of the same year, the Burkina Faso government organized a population census , and the census takers mistakenly entered the camps of the Fulbe tribe in Mali. In response, Mali protested and brought its armed forces into a state of full combat readiness. The President of Mali Musa Traore publicly condemned this act and for ten days asked the leaders of African countries to exert pressure on T. Sankar to withdraw troops from the territory that the Burkynians considered their own. However, the troops of Burkina Faso did not leave the area  .
December 25 , the day of the Catholic Christmas , the Malian army launched an offensive in the Agucher band. The Burkina Faso army deployed soldiers to the region and launched a counterattack. However, the Malian troops were more prepared and carried out several successful attacks, capturing a number of villages. Burkina Faso soldiers counterattacked, but suffered heavy losses.
The Libyan government attempted to negotiate a cease-fire on December 26 , but to no avail, the fighting continued. The culmination of the fighting was the Mali air force airstrike on the market in Ouahiguya , which killed civilians. The second attempt to achieve a truce, initiated by the governments of Nigeria and Libya on December 29 , also failed. Only on December 30, the parties reached an agreement. According to some estimates, up to 300 people died during the short war  .
In mid-January 1986, at the summit in Yamoussoukro, Musa Traore and Thomas Sankara agreed to withdraw their troops to pre-war positions. In February, an exchange of prisoners took place, and in June diplomatic relations were restored. However, the reasons for the dispute remained unresolved. The case was transferred to the UN International Court of Justice  .
In its decision of December 22, 1986 , the court divided almost 3,000 km 2 of the disputed territory almost equally. Mali received the western part of Agasher, and Burkina Faso - the eastern  . President Traore called the court decision a victory for the "fraternal peoples" of Mali and Burkina Faso   .
- OECD Report (2010). The appeal date is October 10, 2014.
- Burkina Faso and Mali, Agacher Strip War, 1985 (31 July 2004). The appeal date is October 10, 2014.
- Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso / Republic of Mali) (7 December 1999). The date of circulation is October 10, 2014. Archived on December 7, 1999.
- International Court settles West African land dispute (Unavailable (inaccessible link) . Chicago Sun-Times (1986). The date of circulation is October 9, 2014. Archived March 28, 2015.
- Agacher Strip War 1985 (16 December 2000). The appeal date is October 10, 2014.
- Mali . The appeal date is October 10, 2014.