Violence here follows from the Tuareg independence movement and a push for an independent state
The Tuareg fight for independence arguably goes back to rebelling against French colonialism in 1881. Tuareg territory and culture was dismantled through colonialism and there have been a long run of rebellions pushing for independence in the post-colonial era. Violence surrounding the latest elections in Mali took place originally as a protest against the re-election of president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, but was arguably more pronounced due to the long history of ethnic tensions following the last push for Tuareg independence in the country that ended in 2013.
In the late 19th Century as French colonialism pushed through central Sahara, the former French soldier Paul Flatters lead the Flatters expedition to investigate the possibility of a trans-Saharan railroad. The expedition ended in a massacre committed by Tuareg groups (the Kel Ahaggar, the Awlad Sidi Shaykh and the Senussi) and marked the start of a bloody French campaign in North Africa. Numerous battles continued and massacres occurred on both sides as the French pushed to take over the region, and Tuareg groups such as the Kel Ahaggar in southern Algeria fought hard to resist French colonialism. All Tuareg tribes slowly fell victim to superior French weaponry and signed Treaties in Mali and Niger ceding power to France in 1905 and 1917 respectively, as a result the Tuareg’s confederate tribal system that spanned 5 North Africa countries was dismantled and split between Niger, Mali, Algeria, Libya, and Burkina Faso.