News / Africa

Mali Leader Dissolves Army Reform Panel

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita delivers a speech on Oct. 2, 2013. in Bamako.Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita delivers a speech on Oct. 2, 2013. in Bamako.
x
Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita delivers a speech on Oct. 2, 2013. in Bamako.
Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita delivers a speech on Oct. 2, 2013. in Bamako.
Anne Look
The president of Mali dissolved a committee that was formed to reform the army and the government has freed 23 prisoners with rebel ties, in a move that could reopen negotiations with the MNLA rebel group.

Clashes this week in the Malian rebel stronghold of Kidal, and a mutiny at the Kati military camp outside the capital, forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to cut short an official visit to France. The president had harsh words for the unruly soldiers and rebels but said he remains committed to reform and dialogue.

The flare-ups at Kati and in Kidal served as bitter reminders that, while France may have declared victory against jihadist groups once in control of the north, the rebellion and subsequent military coup of early 2012 that sunk Mali into crisis still hang like shadows over the country.

Members of the former junta at the Kati military camp fired their weapons and took an army colonel hostage Monday, saying they were passed over during a recent round of promotions.

Keita told the nation he will "not tolerate indiscipline and anarchy."

The president said an investigation is under way and called the mutiny a "slap in the face to the country" at a time when soldiers from other countries are "coming to our soil to defend us, some of them to the point of ultimate sacrifice."

Keita, who has broad-based support in the military, said he remains committed to overhauling the armed forces which analysts say are severely dysfunctional and undertrained.

The president said he is dissolving what critics have said is a largely ineffectual army reform committee run by ex-junta chief Amadou Sanogo, who was promoted from the rank of captain to general by the former interim government just before Keita took office.
 
"Kati will no longer intimidate Bamako, or at least not Koulouba," the president said, referring to the site of the presidential palace. He also said he is giving notice to "all those in Kidal who continue this blackmail, violence and violation of the June 18 Ouagadougou accord."
 
Malian soldiers and MNLA rebels clashed in the rebel stronghold of Kidal Sunday and Monday. Both sides accuse the other of striking first. Tensions have been high in Kidal since the MNLA pulled out of the peace process in September, saying the government was not living up to the terms of that cease-fire deal signed in June.

Keita is calling them back to the table, saying he is committed to improving the system of decentralization.

"My hand remains outstretched," Keita said. "Brothers, set aside your Kalashnikovs, which bring no future, and come to dialogue."

According to the terms of the Ouagadougou accords, regionally mediated talks were to begin in early November, 60 days after Keita took office.

The president has said he will not consider independence or any form of semi-autonomy for the north, something that the MNLA has said is unacceptable.

However, the Malian government did free 23 MNLA prisoners on Wednesday per the terms of the Ouagadougou accord, a move that could re-open the road to negotiations.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: walla richard from: Douala cameroon
October 03, 2013 12:18 PM
I did not know what is wrong with this our belove continent Africa. Africans should know that we are being deceived by the whites.
In Response

by: Hashim from: london
October 03, 2013 4:12 PM
The mischief of Sanogo and his henchmen has nothing to do the West or whites,rather it's a simple manifestation of our retrogressive (African)mentally. Progress to us translates into backwardness. No European leader had urged or continue to incite Malian military into suicide acts. It's all about greed,sheepish thinking and little thinking. It's high time Africans start taking responsibility for their own selfish and tribal thinking. I urged the people of Mali to rally around their elected leaders and defeat this simmering anarchy Sanogo and his false prophets are pursuing. Salam .

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