A former president of Mali has been accused of high treason for targeting the Tuareg people instead of al-Qaeda.

Amadou Toumani Toure, who resigned in April 2012 as part of a deal with coup leaders, now faces charges of high treason. His administration has also been accused of taking money from al-Qaeda-linked fighters who raise money by kidnapping westerners.

According to Tuareg commanders, Toure's government also encouraged drug smuggling, which brought in even more money.

The Tuareg claimed northern Mali's Azawad region in 2012 and declared themselves independent after rebel fighters forced Malian soldiers out of the region, but their rebellion was crushed when al-Qaeda fighters entered the country.

Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher reports.

Source: Al Jazeera