Since Mali’s independence in 1960, the Tuareg, a minority ethnic group, have staged successive rebellions, with the major ones occurring in 1963, 1990, 2006, and 2012. While discussions of “the Tuareg issue” have sometimes led both the Malian and the international press, as well as scholars, to make inaccurate generalizations, it is true that almost all the armed conflicts of the past fifty years in Mali were originated by people of the Tuareg group. Therefore, many of their Malian compatriots hold the Tuareg people responsible for the destruction of life and human rights violations that have taken place since the beginning of 2012. This article focuses on the events of 2012 and their aftermath and explores some social, cultural, and political differences between northern Tuareg and southern Bamana peoples in particular. It asks two specific questions: Is there something about Tuareg society, culture, and politics (i.e., Tuareg identity) that causes an incompatibility with the Mali Republic? And if not, where has the Malian government failed through the successive regimes since independence?