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One of the founding leaders is said to be Moussa Ag Acharatoumane.[29] Another influential leader in the group was Ibrahim Ag Bahanga (as well as his father-in-law Hama Ag Sid’Ahmed, who was also a spokesman for a group in the previous rebellion) from the 1990 and 2006 rebellions. After he was defeated and forced into exile in Libya, he was said to have met with other leaders of the 1990 rebellion who had taken up posts in a new unit of the Libyan army to fight desert warfare. Ibrahim sought to have a proficient force to fight against the Malian state and outside the media spotlight. However, he was killed on 26 August, 2011. One of the officers he had met in Libya was Colonel Ag Mohamed Najem,[5] who is said by the movement to be the head of its military wing.[17] He is of Malian origin but resigned from the Libyan Army shortly after the uprising to join the Tuareg rebellion in Mali.[13] Colonel Dilal Ag Alsherif is another military leader of the movement.[39] There are said to be about 40 officers in the MNLA movement.[5] There are also deserters from the Malian Army, including officers. Colonel Nagim is one such officer, who led the charge to capture two cities.[40] The General Secretary of the movement is Bilal Ag Acherif.[17] The spokesman for the MNLA’s political wing is Hama Ag Mahmoud.[41] Following the independence declaration, Mahmoud Ag Aghaly was appointed as the head of the interim Executive Committee of the MNLA that was said to govern Azawad.[42]

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