News

Mali Coup Opponents Rally

Sign at a demonstration against the coup d'etat, held on March 26 in Bamako, Mali. The sign reads, 'Military to the front lines, power to the people'.
Sign at a demonstration against the coup d'etat, held on March 26 in Bamako, Mali. The sign reads, 'Military to the front lines, power to the people'.
Nancy Palus

Opponents of last week's military coup in Mali staged a demonstration in the capital, Bamako, on Monday. A new political and civil society front is calling on coup leaders to negotiate a rapid return to civilian rule, as international pressure grows on the junta to step aside.

This student leader was among people who gathered at a national labor office in Bamako to denounce the coup. He sparked cheers when he demanded the military return to the front, to defend Mali’s territorial integrity. He said the military exists to protect the people and not to threaten the people.

A while later people chanted ‘ORTM! ORTM!’ - the name of the state television station that has been taken over by the junta.  Part of the crowd left to march toward the station.

People present said at least 2,000 people had gathered for the demonstration. It was arranged by a new political alliance called the United Front for the Restoration of Democracy, which is seeking the immediate restoration of law and civilian rule in Mali.

Their moves comes amid strong international condemnation of the coup. The African Union has suspended the country. The United Nations has said the junta must go. France and the United States say they continue to recognize Amadou Toumani Touré as Mali’s president. The European Union, the World Bank and the African Development Bank have suspended development aid to Mali.

Oumar Hamadoun Dicko, a former government minister, told VOA from the rally that the new alliance includes members of some 40 political parties, members of parliament, workers’ unions, student groups and other civil society organizations.

He says the alliance is demanding a restoration of law, the release of civilians detained after the coup, open and transparent elections as soon as possible, and an end to looting. He says the alliance wants "An end to this anarchic situation that threatens the Malian state after all the progress toward democracy the country has made over the years."

It was 21 years ago that Amadou Toumani Touré led a coup ousting the longtime dictator Moussa Traoré. Touré eventually stepped aside, then came back years later to win two presidential elections.

Tieman Coulibaly, head of a Malian political party and one of the alliance’s founders, expressed concern about the increased isolation of Mali because of the recent military coup.

Coulibaly says the isolation by African and international organizations is putting Mali in a precarious state. He says Mali has been shunned by the outside world and as it is, the state is not functioning. "We are nearing the end of the month," he says, "and civil servants must be paid; we have problems with gasoline supplies."

He told VOA the military and civilians alike have a role in resolving the situation.

He says, "We absolutely must avoid chaos inside Mali and this isolation by the international community. The pressure is on not only the coup leaders but also on civil society and political parties - this is why we must unite and act now."

The alliance is finalizing the details of an action plan and expects to send a delegation to present it to coup leader Amadou Sanogo.

At least one political party, known as Sadi, has expressed support for the coup.

The renegade soldiers say they took power in order to launch a more effective response to the rebellion in northern Mali, but the immediate result has been quite the opposite, with rebels pushing to take advantage of disorder to advance in northern towns.

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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs