News / Africa

Mali Launches Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission

x

Location

Goundam, Mali
Anne Look
Mali's interim president Diouncounda Traore inaugurated the country's much awaited Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission Thursday. The commission is seen as essential to dealing with long-standing issues of security and governance in the north, but the question of what to do about the Tuareg separatist group - the MNLA - in the far northern region of Kidal, remains a major stumbling block to reconciliation.

President Diouncounda Traore told the 33 government-appointed members of the Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission that they are faced with a "delicate" and "difficult" mission.  Their work, he said, is meant to be inclusive and impartial.

Your mission, he says, is to bring everyone together for dialogue and to work towards reconciliation.  But, he says dialogue can only take place between Malians and only with those who renounce demands for independence or the imposition of Sharia and who also put down their arms.

That is precisely what the Tuareg separatist group, the MNLA, is refusing to do.  The MNLA continues to hold the northern city of Kidal and told reporters in Paris Thursday that it would not disarm before negotiations with the Malian government, nor would it allow Malian soldiers in Kidal.

French and African troops liberated much of northern Mali in late January after 10 months of occupation by the MNLA and jihadist groups composed of both foreign and Malian fighters.

Tuareg fighters have launched repeated rebellions in northern Mali since the 1960s and signed multiple peace deals with the government.  The MNLA launched this most recent rebellion in January 2012 and is calling for greater autonomy in the north, which it calls Azawad.

The newly inaugurated Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission is meant to be a forum for everyone, not just those who have taken up arms, to air their grievances.  The commission will then make official recommendations to the government.

President Traore did not mention the MNLA by name, but he made repeated references to the region of Kidal.

He says he invites all Malians, inside and outside the country, from Kidal to Kaye and throughout the country - old and young, men and women - to support the commission in its work, as it is essential to rebuilding and reuniting the country.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs