News / Africa

    Mali Crisis Persists Six Months After Coup

    Alhader Ag Almahmoud, a 30-year-old Tuareg herder whose right hand was amputated last month by an Islamist group, displays his bandaged arm at an Amnesty International press conference in Bamako, Mali, September 20, 2012.
    Alhader Ag Almahmoud, a 30-year-old Tuareg herder whose right hand was amputated last month by an Islamist group, displays his bandaged arm at an Amnesty International press conference in Bamako, Mali, September 20, 2012.
    Anne Look
    Mali remains mired in uncertainty six months after a military coup derailed what was a relatively stable, but some say faltering, democracy and paved the way for al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants to seize the northern half of the country.  
     
    It has been six months since an army mutiny spiraled into a military coup in the early hours of March 22.
     
    Some in Mali cheered the coup as the shock treatment the country needed - a purging of an unpopular leadership that many said was corrupt, and chance to get back on track.
     
    But the reality has been much different. Many Malians say life is getting worse, not better.
     
    Shop owner Djiri Tambadou says it was at least calm before, but now they do not what is going to happen. Life is difficult, he says. Since the coup his small grocery has been attacked three times by robbers driving SUVs and business is bad. He says the country is still far from a solution, so long as the military exerts control and the politicians are dishonest.

    Mali was largely dependent on the international aid foreign powers largely cut off in the days following the coup. The crisis has hit the economy, in particular small and medium-sized businesses.

    The International Crisis Group, in a report released Monday, warns economic pressures, including the expected lifting of food subsidies, could spark social unrest.

    Crisis Group West Africa Director Gilles Yabi says it is impossible to predict the political consequences of such a popular uprising. He says given the current leadership crisis, it is impossible to say who the population would hold responsible for socio-economic problems.
     
    The interim civilian government has been faltering. It was put in place in April following heavy-handed mediation by West African regional bloc ECOWAS aimed at sidelining the coup leaders and restoring some constitutional order.
     
    The interim government was then expanded into a "government of national unity" in August in the hopes of garnering broader-based popular support.
     
    But analysts say Bamako still lacks a clear leader. The country is instead being run by an uneasy triumvirate of interim President Diouncounda Traore, ex-junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, and interim Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra.

    The president of the National Civil Society Council of Mali, Boureima Allaye Toure, says the country is "spinning in circles."
     
    Toure says the interim government has swelled from 24 ministers to 31. He says this is not about resolving the crisis. It is about political maneuvering and everyone getting his or her piece of the pie. He says the government is not communicating with the people about its actions. He says they had to learn about Mali's request to ECOWAS for military assistance from the international press. So long as Mali does not have one widely accepted leader making decisions and talking to the people, he says the situation will continue to deteriorate.

    The International Crisis Group says the political tug of war, as well as divisions within the ex-junta and the military in general, could provoke another military coup.

    When the March 22 coup occurred, Mali was just weeks away from a presidential election that would have marked the end of the now-ousted president's second and final term in office.
     
    The interim civilian government now has the task of organizing elections.  But how to do that when two-thirds of Mali's national territory has fallen into the hands of al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants since the coup?
     
    The idea of voting without the north, which even before the crisis was home to just a tenth of the population, is not popular among Malians.
     
    Bamako security guard Mamadou Diarra says they can not have credible elections until the country is reunited and at peace. He says Mali is one country, so it would not be fair to hold elections in one part and not another.
     
    Analysts say the fight to retake the north, even with international support, could be long and still perhaps a long-way off.  In the meantime, there are concerns extended political limbo in the capital could lead to further instability.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora