Category Archives: Mali

Mali News #2 – Government swept away

As our last update was posted, we received news that the Malian Prime Minister and his government had resigned, through coercion. News was not complete, so we’ll review what happened and look at some of the implications and analysis around this latest trial for Mali.

Peter Tinti’s article gives a brief overview of the events a week ago, with suggestions that Diarra’s initial strength of being a political outsider, eventually led to his resignation as he tried to move away from Captain Sanogo’s Military Junta.

International condemnation swept down on Mali and the Military Junta, with the UN threatening sanctions on a country already experiencing famine.

Mali’s new Prime Minister, Diango Cissoko, started drawing up a unity government based upon the belief he could co-ordinate the retaking on Northern Mali through military means. The ICG, who have a good understanding of the situation in Mali commented that Cissoko might stand a better chance or achieving this aim. Despite the international criticism around the resignation of his predecessor, ECOWAS and other nations responded fairly neutrally to this new appointment. Clearly foreign observers are still unsure of the political stability in Bamako while Captain Sanogo is present to undermine what democratic structures that remain in Mali. In fact they still aren’t united in believe in the efficacy of the most publicised plans, as Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, calls the French intervention plan for Mali, ‘crap’.

To really understand the reality of the power of the coup in March, and it’s clear continuing implications, a read of this article from Bruce Whitehouse, an American Anthropologist, gives a great insight. Bruce reported on the situation in Mali as the tsunami of the current crisis hit Mali and Bamako through his blog: Bridges from Bamako. He continues to report occasionally with excellent blog pieces.

In his latest post, Bruce talks of Sanogo’s call that he can start the war of liberation before an election, as some Malians want. He also links to this BBC article which provides an  analysis of the possible scenarios for Mali in 2013, which in the run up to the holiday season including the New Year celebrations in Britain, leaves much to think on for the coming year in Mali.

It’s worth noting that the option of settlement through negotiation and dialogue isn’t present in the four scenarios given, despite suggestions that this route might be effective and is making marked progress. Mark Doyle gives three lines at the end of the article on the prospect. An unsettling reaction rises, and without generalizing from one news piece, you can wonder whether too many people outside Mali are brushing aside the chance for a non-violent solution that might lead to an enduring peace. Dishearteningly that position is something being seen and heard (fr) inside Mali too, although not universally. As conditions continue to deteriorate in the South and the North a thought out route to an enduring and just peace in Mali becomes ever more important.

Launch of Mali Interest Hub

Welcome to the Mali Interest Hub

In this post Wilfred Willy, President of the Malian Community Council, kindly agreed to write a few words to open the Mali Interest Hub. We intend to continue on in this format, with experts on and from Mali providing an insight to a fascinating country currently embroiled in turmoil.

Surrounding these insightful pieces we will be updating readers on the latest news from Mali. Of course the website itself is no where near it’s finished form and will develop and grow as time goes on. We hope you that you will be here with us on that journey as learn from, talk about and try to find a just and enduring peace in Mali.

Daniel Price – Mali Development Group

 

Wilfred Willy – President of the Malian Community Council

“I was fortunate enough to be born in Bamako the capital city of Mali, a wonderful country.  Mali is well known of its diverse and rich culture, its arts and music. Mali is one of the very few countries in Africa to have produced so many internationally acclaimed musicians with, let’s not forget, 5 Grammy Awards and countless nominations to their names! The likes of Oumou Sangaré, Toumani Diabaté, Salif Keita, Amadou and Mariam, Rokia Traoré, et. play to full houses in some of the most prestigious arenas in the World. Mali also hosts 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the most emblematic being Timbuktu. However what always strikes me in Mali is the people: ever so welcoming and generous and happy, even in some of the most deprived and materially poor areas.

The country is currently hurting because of a rebellion which started in January this year, followed by the invasion of Islamic extremists. On one hand the MNLA rebels want independence of the 3 northern regions: Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal – effectively two thirds of the country’s territory – and on the other hand the Jihadists of Ansar Dine, Aqmi and the Mujao want to impose sharia laws in the same areas to a population that is already 100% Muslim.They have started by destroying historic monuments, mausoleums; by killing, miming and beheading innocent civilians.

Furthermore, Mali is also facing a political crisis which culminated in March 2012 with the coup that ousted the democratically elected president ATT. Since then the country is struggling to regain some sort of stability necessary to fight back the insurgents.

I really hope that this website will offer:

1)      The opportunity to inform English speaking people on all that goes on in Mali, including news on the current crisis, but also on arts, music, culture, etc.

2)      A platform for Malians and “Maliphiles” to express themselves; to inform and educate on the different issues.

3)      A chance to share experience, useful information amongst people with an interest in Mali.

I would like to thank all the people involved in making this website a reality and I feel really honoured to have contributed a tiny bit to its content.

Thank you very much. Merci beaucoup. Aw ni ce!”