News / Africa

    Malian Press Continues Strike for Release of Arrested Editor

    Anne Look
    Wednesday marks the second day of a press strike in Mali where private newspapers and many radio stations are protesting the arrest of a newspaper editor for publishing a letter, attributed to a soldier, that is critical of benefits awarded to members of the former junta.  

    Newsstands were empty for a second day in Bamako.  Newspapers have pledged not to publish until their colleague, editor Boukary Daou, is released from state custody.

    Some private radio stations are following suit, but several have returned to normal broadcasts.

    Daou was arrested on March 6 after his newspaper, Le Républicain, published an open letter attributed to a "Captain Touré" in Gao.

    The letter demanded the government reverse the $8,000 monthly salary reportedly awarded to ex-junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo or the soldier and his men would stop fighting in the north.  The letter asked whether staging a coup should be judged an act worthy of such "recognition and compensation."

    The president of the Maison de la Presse press association, Makan Koné, says the strike is a "show of solidarity."

    He says they will not start publishing again until Daou is released.  He asks how can one journalist keeping working while his colleague is in prison?  He says this is about showing solidarity and putting a bit of pressure on the government.

    Mali's interim president, Diouncounda Traoré, is standing firm on Daou's arrest.  He spoke to journalists in Dakar late Tuesday, following bilateral talks in Senegal.

    Traoré says "Captain Touré" does not exist.  He says the journalist in question has the right to disagree with decisions made by the government, but Mali is in a state of emergency, the country is at war.  He says it is serious to publish statements that appear to encourage soldiers to desert the front.

    Traoré said Daou has been detained as authorities investigate the incident to determine whether or not it was a concerted effort to destabilize the armed forces.  He said if Daou is innocent, he will be released.

    The case highlights simmering tensions in Mali with regard to the mid-level officers who mutinied and then overthrew the elected government on March 22nd of last year.

    Mali has been at war since early January when the al-Qaida-linked Islamist fighters in the north launched a southern offensive.

    French, Malian and Chadian troops have pushed the Islamists out of the major northern towns they had occupied since last April, but fighting continues in the far northeast.  Security experts warn the rest of the formerly occupied territory is far from secured.

    France says it will  begin pulling its 4,000 soldiers out of Mali next month.  The regional African force meant to replace the French has been slow to deploy to Mali and is not yet on the front lines. 

    There is concern the Malian army is not well-trained or well-equipped enough to take the lead against remaining Islamists.

    But President Traoré says the eventual French withdrawal comes as no surprise. 

    He says the French have always said they are not in Mali for good.  He says Malian and African troops will take over.  He says the French will leave when it is possible, but it is clear that France will accompany Mali as long as necessary.  

    Related slide show

    • Malian soldiers man a bridge at the entrance of Gao, northern Mali where a suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed himself attempting to blow up an army checkpoint, Feb. 8, 2013.
    • Malian soldiers stand by a motorcycle used by a suicide bomber at the entrance of Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 8, 2013.
    • Malian soldiers inspect an explosive they found after residents notified authorities of suspicious bags left by radicals when they fled Gao, northern Mali, February 6, 2013.
    • A Malian man walks between doors of closed shops in Gao, northern Mali, February 5, 2013.
    • A child stands by his donkey cart, in Gao, northern Mali, February 5, 2013.
    • Men carry humanitarian food aid toward boats, Mopti, Mali, February 4, 2013.
    • A Malian woman looks at men carrying humanitarian food aid, Mopti, Mali, February 4, 2013.
    • Malian soldiers escort prisoners, who are suspected al-Qaida-allied fighters, in front of a military cell in Mopti, Mali, February 4, 2013.
    • A convoy of Malian troops on the road to Gao, northern Mali, February 4, 2013.
    • French President Francois Hollande holds hands with Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traoré in Timbuktu, Mali, February 2, 2013.
    • A man takes a close look at a burned-out truck in Timbuktu, Mali, January 31, 2013.

    You May Like

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    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.