From my Huffpo Article:
The conference, held in a tent in the sand dunes, was a recipe for disaster. Well-dressed government ministers delivered the final insult by insisting on speaking in French and English — languages not native to the area.
One Tuareg chief was incensed and verbally accosted the government speakers.
According to Mohammed, an Algerian who looked like a young Fidel Castro and spoke Tamashek, Arabic, French and English, the Tuareg chief stood and shouted (in Tamashek), “You come to our part of the country for a festival celebrating our culture and you don’t even have the decency to speak our language. You have done nothing for us since the ceasefire!”
The government ministers gestured for security and a fight in ensued. The chief warned, “We are going back to arms.”
As the chief was escorted out of the tent by armed guards he yelled at fellow Tuareg, “Who is with me?” prompting a majority of the tribal leaders to stand up and follow him out of the tent in ominous silence.
That evening, Bono (introduced as “BOH-no from YouTube”) took the stage to belt out a mangled version of “Vive le Mali, Vive la paix, Vive la musique” — to the indifference of the crowd.
The next day, the government ministers and their armed entourages left town, leaving Timbuktu jittery.
Two days later the bombs started dropping outside of Gao.