SOLVING MALI'S POLITICAL CRISIS
President Keita has placed new members in power in Mali, yet it seems that the public does not rest; turmoil and trouble are eminent.
A new government consisting of six members has been formed in Mali and is tasked with solving the country's political crisis.
The president re-appointed Defence Minister Ibrahima Dahirou Dembele, Territorial Administration Minister Boubacar Alpha Bah, and Foreign Minister Tiebile Drame. He also made three new appointments- lawyer Kassoum Tapo as justice minister, former Development Bank of Mali director Abdoulaye Daffe as finance minister, and former chief of army staff Bemba Moussa Keita as security minister.
This was prompted by new, or what some would consider prolonged, unrest in the nation. Here are the causes of the conflict:
1. The abduction of opposition leader Soumaïla Cisse.
2. The Injury of 158 people and the death of eleven protestors at the hands of security forces from 10th to 13th July.
3. President Keita’s victory in the August 2018 elections (The opposition claims that the polled were wrecked due to irregularities in polls).
4. Legislative elections held in March in spite of the pandemic.
5. The “Crisis of Legitimacy", where few feel that the parliament represents them and others feel that the constitutional court does.
6. Tens of thousands of protestors demanding President Keita's resignation
7. Hit on the country’s gold and cotton industry due to insurgency and the pandemic, low wages for teachers and other such economic hardships
8. The worsening security situation and instability since 2012, when ethnic Tuareg rebels occupied two-thirds of the country’s northern part, leading to increased discomfort and fear.
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a 15-member regional group made up of many agencies and institutions with the mandate of promoting economic integration, principles of democracy and rule of law.
M5-RPF is the most dominant opposition group, which emerged from the June 5th protests.
After talks between M5-RFP and the government along with efforts by ECOWAS, it was decided that recommendations put forth by a delegation that was sent to Mali to assess their political situations on June 19 are to be adopted in a 4-point plan that was to be implemented in 10 days. These recommendations include the resignation of 31 MPs and the re-composition of the court. ECOWAS has also shockingly stressed that Keita’s resignation is a “red-line” that will not be crossed.
However, the M5-RFP released a statement saying, "The M5-RFP states with regret that the conclusions of the Heads of State Summit do not take into account the depth and gravity of the socio-political crisis that has Mali's future hanging in the balance,” and added that the proposals did not "correspond to the expectations and aspirations of the people of Mali and violate the laws and constitution of Mali". Clearly, they still strongly stand by their demand for the resignation of President Keita.
The group has held off any protests until Eid-al-Adha, heeding to calls for de-escalation. They have even canceled a public prayer rally for the lives lost due to the protests, asking people to mourn in mosques instead.
The crisis has implications for the whole of Mali and can even lead to insurgents gaining dominance in this time of weakness. It is a hope that in the coming days, some level of government competence is achieved because as of now, the whole country seems to be an Achilles’ heel.
Reporter- Katyayani Nath