News / Africa

Mali Coalition Protests Proposed ECOWAS Troop Deployment

People holding banners take part in a protest called by the Coordination of Patriotic Organizations in Mali (COPAM) against a foreign military intervention in Mali to reclaim the Islamist-controlled north, September 28, 2012.People holding banners take part in a protest called by the Coordination of Patriotic Organizations in Mali (COPAM) against a foreign military intervention in Mali to reclaim the Islamist-controlled north, September 28, 2012.
x
People holding banners take part in a protest called by the Coordination of Patriotic Organizations in Mali (COPAM) against a foreign military intervention in Mali to reclaim the Islamist-controlled north, September 28, 2012.
People holding banners take part in a protest called by the Coordination of Patriotic Organizations in Mali (COPAM) against a foreign military intervention in Mali to reclaim the Islamist-controlled north, September 28, 2012.
Peter Tinti
Hundreds marched in the Malian capital of Bamako on Friday at Liberty Plaza to protest the proposed deployment of troops from West African bloc ECOWAS to Mali. The troops, if they come, would be used to retake northern Mali from al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants who seized control of the region in April.

The coalition COPAM, which backs the military junta that overthrew Mali's government in March, organized the protest following an agreement earlier this week between Mali’s interim government and ECOWAS.

The agreement leaves open the possibility for ECOWAS troops to be based just outside the capital as part of a broader plan to help retake the country’s north. Northern Mali fell to Islamist militants in the chaos that followed the coup on March 22 in Bamako.

ECOWAS' role in mediating the post-coup political crisis, as well as the prospect of foreign troops in the capital, has been unpopular among certain segments of the Malian public.

On Friday, the protestors chanted "Down with ECOWAS" and expressed a deep distrust of the organization and its motives. One of the protest organizers is Moussa Drame, who said he is against ECOWAS because it is a syndicate that only serves the interests of other heads of state.

According to Drame, the best solution is a national convention in which the international community stops imposing its will and allows Mali to find its own solutions. ECOWAS, Drame said, wants to keep Mali down.

Several protestors held up pictures of coup leader Amadou Haya Sanogo. Others displayed handmade signs that said “liberate our arms,” in reference to the heavy weapons ordered by Mali, but blocked by neighboring Guinea since July amid concerns that they could fall into the wrong hands. Another sign warned, “ECOWAS arrival triggers civil war in Mali.”

The demonstration was described by organizers as a “peaceful march,” with dozens of Malian police and armed forces present to provide security.

A COPAM protest on May 21 saw crowds storm the presidential palace, where they beat Mali’s 70-year-old interim President, Dioncounda Traore, unconscious.

As the occupation of the north nears its seventh month, however, support for COPAM and the public's resistance to ECOWAS military assistance both appear to be waning.  
COPAM, analysts say, is a "small but vocal minority" whose presence highlights the existing political tug of war in southern Mali that some say makes resolving the crisis in the north all the more difficult.

ECOWAS is seeking an intervention mandate from the U.N. Security Council. Mali was high on the agenda of a special Sahel session held in New York this week on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. World leaders remain divided on the question of military intervention.

France, along with several of Mali's neighbors, has called for the Security Council to pass a resolution authorizing intervention as soon as possible. The United States, however, maintains that Mali must first have a democratically-elected government before it can adequately address the crisis in the north.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 29, 2012 12:08 PM
The rights of minorities is the question here. Mali army wants money and logistics only, not military intervention, what are those militants using to prosecute their campaign? The failure of an army that seeks political power should not delay the liberation of the region by posing obstacles on the way. The bottom line is islamization and jihad against minorities that do not accept islamic religion. Unfortunately these minorities have been suppressed and intimidated by use of force in a country they call their own and as is islamic, they have no rights as citizens even in their own country. The deployment of Ecowas military into the region will free the peoples and give them the rare opportunity to express themselves and feel like the rest of the world.
In Response

by: said tuareg from: italy
September 29, 2012 5:07 PM
I do not know what exactly the minorities Godwin is talking about. The population of Azawad territory are well know , they are Tuaregs as majority and indigenous people , Arabs , Peul, and Songhai ,

by: said tuareg from: italy
September 28, 2012 8:01 PM
i think that so- called crisis in north Mali never be solved with military intervention but military intervention would worsen the situation for many reasons ;
First Mali has repeatedly tried to solve this problem wi
th military action but she could not .
Second, at the moment there is no comparison between the capacity of MNLA troops and Malian army in terms of weaponization and military tactics. Mnla gained much weapons during the battle with Malian army in the north and among these weapons fatal ones of originally American made in addition to what they have collected through fifty years ago of the struggle . And the capacity and experience of M..N.L.A fighters in the Sahara desert make them( mnla fighters) highly outperform to Malian troops and African troops in general.
if it is really that West African States want send their troops to the north , they are going to commit a big mistake because this will encourage emergent of many tuareg fronts in the neighboring countries, Libya, Niger, Algeria, burkin faso, and there will be endless conflict. If west African States really want to solve this problem, they have to surrender to the reality that is the right of Azawad people to self-determination.
In Response

by: Bruce from: Bethlehem, USA
September 29, 2012 2:08 PM
It's unclear whether the MNLA even exists anymore as a military organization--interesting that "said tuareg" wrote a great deal about Azawad, but mentioned nothing about the Islamic militias that now control "said territory."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

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