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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid