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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.