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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs