On Tuesday, September 8 at 19:30 GMT:
People across Mali are anxious over the country’s future, days after President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita stepped down following a military coup.
Army soldiers allied with the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) moved against Keita and prime minister Boubou Cisse on August 18, following weeks of popular protests against the government. The mass demonstrations, led by groups that coalesced into a coalition called the June 5 Movement, were sparked by a constitutional court decision to overturn some results in recent legislative elections, awarding extra seats to Keita’s party and making it the largest bloc in parliament. The protests also tapped into simmering resentments over long-running social, economic and security challenges.
The CNSP’s move to arrest Keita, forcing him to declare his resignation, was supported by the June 5 Movement. But in recent days differences have emerged over the contours of a political transition back to civilian rule. The CNSP, led by Colonel Assimi Goita, led recent talks in Bamoko but some members of the June 5 Movement protested at being excluded from some working groups.
While Mali’s military rulers may still be able to count on popular support among Malians, regional and international powers are alarmed at the coup. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which supported Keita in his efforts against rebel groups linked to Isil and al-Qaeda, is calling for the formation of a civilian transitional government and fresh elections within a year. Former colonial power France, which has about 5,000 troops in Mali as part of an ongoing operation against armed groups in central Mali, wants to see a popular vote within months.
With people across Mali already facing food shortages, displacement and the threat of coronavirus, continued uncertainty over Mali’s political future is another burden to bear. We’ll ask what happens next. Join the conversation.
Niagalé Bagayoko, @NiagaleBagayoko
Chair, African Security Sector Network
Fatima Al Ansar, @FatimaAlAnsar2
Founder, Tilwalte Peace Network
Source: Al Jazeera