News

    Mali's Interim President Returns from Temporary Exile

    Dioncounda Traore, center, Mali's parliamentary head who was forced into exile after last month's coup, walks with Burkina Faso's Foreign Affairs Minister Djibrill Bassole, right, as Traore arrives in Bamako to take up his constitutionally-mandated post a
    Dioncounda Traore, center, Mali's parliamentary head who was forced into exile after last month's coup, walks with Burkina Faso's Foreign Affairs Minister Djibrill Bassole, right, as Traore arrives in Bamako to take up his constitutionally-mandated post a

    Mali's interim president arrived in Bamako to take office after military coup leaders agreed to hand power to a civilian government in a deal with neighboring countries announced Frirday.

    Former speaker of parliament Dioncounda Traore will serve as president with a transitional government until elections are held.   He flew into Mali Saturday from a temporary exile in neighboring Burkina Faso.

    Ivory Coast official Adama Bictogo said a regional 15-member bloc was lifting the sanctions imposed on Mali to force the military to return power to civilian leaders after reaching an agreement with coup leaders late Friday.

    "As a consequence the president of ECOWAS, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, in agreement with his peers, has decided to immediately lift the sanctions against Mali," he said.

    President Ouattara currently heads the Economic Community of West African States.  The bloc also pledged to help Mali fight the Tuareg rebels who have seized much of the  country's north and proclaimed an independent state there.

    Coup leader Amadou Sanago has said the junta is stepping aside for an interim government of national unity, in order to lift the total embargo ECOWAS has imposed on the landlocked nation.  

    In Mali's capital Bamako relieved civilians gathered in the streets Saturday, holding up signs calling for peace.

    The coup on March 22 plunged Mali into chaos and led to big gains by Tuareg rebels battling Malian forces in the northern part of the country.  Ironically, the coup leaders had justified their takeover by denouncing what they said was the former government's ineffectual campaign to suppress the Tuareg rebellion.

    Under the agreement, President Amadou Toumani Toure who has been in hiding since the coup, is entitled to live in safety wherever he chooses.  He was ousted just months before a scheduled presidential election when he was due to step down.

    Mali's neighbors all criticized the military takeover and the removal of President Toure.  They also oppose the new "Azawad" state declared by the northern rebels.  In their advance against the Malian army and seizure of Timbuktu and other areas, the Tuaregs have been fighting alongside members of the radical Islamist group Ansar Dine.

    The self-styled National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad controls Timbuktu, Gao city and other areas in the north.  It declared itself independent Friday and said its military campaign was over.  The heavily armed Tuaregs, former based in Moammar Gadhafi's Libya, began fighting in northern Mali in mid-January.

    There has been nearly unanimous international rejection of the MNLA rebels' proclamation. In addition to ECOWAS and other African states, the United States, France and other European powers have said they do not recognize Azawad.

    The agreement with ECOWAS is said to call for a transitional government led by a consensus prime minister, and it calls for the lifting of all sanctions against Mali and an amnesty for coup leaders.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora