News / Africa

AU ‘Assured’ Of Peaceful Mali Election

Electoral materials are stacked in a customs office after shipment from France in Bamako, Mali, June 18 2013.
Electoral materials are stacked in a customs office after shipment from France in Bamako, Mali, June 18 2013.
Peter Clottey
A top African Union (AU) official says the group is working with political leaders and other stakeholders in Mali in the run up to the West African country’s July 28 presidential election.

Ambassador Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, AU commissioner for political affairs, says the group is encouraged by the recent agreement signed between the government and the Tuareg rebels.

The deal would allow elections to take place next month and the army to return to the rebel-held city of Kidal.

But, some officials have expressed skepticism about the agreement, saying that parts of the country are still not safe enough to carry out a peaceful election.

Abdullahi, who was recently in Mali, says officials of the interim government assured her the election will precede as originally planned in despite many challenges.

“From what I saw, there are still some challenges on the ground, but the minister in charge of territorial administration gave us the assurances that yes there are challenges, but the elections could hold,” said Abdullahi. “So we are keeping our fingers crossed, hoping that things will go well and the people would participate in the election.”

She says the AU has partnered with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to help Mali’s interim government and support the country’s efforts to return to constitutional rule.

“The African Union, together with ECOWAS, have been taking steps to ensure that we have constitutional order fully restored and the territorial integrity of Mali that was challenged also fully restored,” said Abdullahi. 

Abdullahi says the AU has a team of human rights observers in Mali monitoring the humanitarian situation there.

She says the AU’s special representative, former Burundian President Pierre Buyoya, has been coordinating efforts with various groups in Mali ahead of next month’s vote.

“Pierre Buyoya has been engaging all the stakeholders, not only in the election, but also ensuring that there is security, there is calm and there is serenity in Mali,” said Abdullahi.

She says the group has a team of long-term poll observers in Mali as part of the AU’s effort to ensure a peaceful, credible and transparent presidential vote.

“A team of experts has already arrived in Mali to ensure that they have a thorough understanding of the processes and the conditions on the ground so that the AU will be in a better position to appreciate and follow the situation in Mali,” said Abdullahi. “Even after the election, our team of long-term observers will remain on the ground and continue to monitor the process until we are certain that things had gone well.”

Abdullahi says a team of short-term AU poll observers is scheduled to arrive in Mali on July 22 to join the long-term observers.
Clottey interview with Ambassador Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, AU commissioner
Clottey interview with Ambassador Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, AU commissioner i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More