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World Mali opposition supporters rally as France warns ruling junta

06:30  05 june  2021
06:30  05 june  2021 Source:   afp.com

Emanuel Macron Promises French Sanctions for Mali as President Resigns After Detainment

  Emanuel Macron Promises French Sanctions for Mali as President Resigns After Detainment Macron described the detention of the transitional leaders as a coup d'etat and on Wednesday warned of repercussions, including targeted sanctions. Gabriel Attal, a French government spokesman said, "We were very clear with the junta: the transition must include civilians. It must be peaceful, it must be inclusive and it must be limited in time. What has happened with what amount to a coup d'etat within the coup d'etat constitutes for us a rupture of confidence.

Supporters of Mali 's M5 opposition movement staged a rally on Friday, with the group poised to join the government following the crisis-stricken country's second coup in nine months. Several hundred M5 supporters assembled at a central square in the capital Bamako, AFP journalists said, to commemorate the founding of the movement, which powered mass protests last year. But the long-planned rally was held after strongman Colonel Assimi Goita, who led a coup on the back of the protests, ousted the civilian transitional president and prime minister on May 24.

Supporters of Mali 's M5 opposition movement staged a rally on Friday, with the group poised to join the government following the crisis-stricken country's second coup in nine months. Several hundred M5 supporters assembled at a central square in the capital Bamako, AFP journalists said, to France on Friday suspended joint military operations with Malian forces, and stopped providing military advice. The former colonial power has thousands of troops stationed in the Sahel to help fight jihadist violence that erupted in Mali in 2012 and now threatens the region. “ Mali must look for other partners, France

Supporters of Mali's M5 opposition movement staged a rally on Friday, with the group poised to join the government following the crisis-stricken country's second coup in nine months.

France says its Barkhane anti-jihad force has suspended joint operations with the Malian army © Daphné BENOIT France says its Barkhane anti-jihad force has suspended joint operations with the Malian army

Several hundred M5 supporters assembled at a central square in the capital Bamako, AFP journalists said, to commemorate the founding of the movement, which powered mass protests last year.

map: Mali © Laurence SAUBADU Mali

But the long-planned rally was held after strongman Colonel Assimi Goita, who led a coup on the back of the protests, ousted the civilian transitional president and prime minister on May 24.

Mali's latest crisis: What do we know?

  Mali's latest crisis: What do we know? Malian Colonel Assimi Goita triggered a diplomatic storm this week by detaining the war-torn Sahel state's president and prime minister and stripping them of their powers. It marked the second apparent military coup in Mali within one year. President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane had led a caretaker government installed after military officers deposed elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18. - What has happened? - AfterIt marked the second apparent military coup in Mali within one year.

France has halted its joint military operations with Mali ’s armed forces, the defense ministry has announced, as it seeks to push the Malian military to cede power back to the democratically-elected government. “ France , after informing its partners and the Malian authorities, has decided to suspend, as a precaution and temporarily, joint military operations with the Malian forces, as well as national advisory missions that benefit them,” the French Ministry of Armed Forces said in a statement on Thursday.

Opposition supporters attend a rally to celebrate the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, at the Independence Square in Bamako, Mali , Aug. BAMAKO, MALI - Thousands crowded into Mali ’s capital Friday in a raucous show of support for the military junta that forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita's resignation and the government’s disbanding earlier this week. Demonstrators in Bamako – some raising banners touting the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, the junta ’s name for itself – also denounced the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

a man wearing a military uniform: Malian strongman Colonel Assimi Goita is expected to be installed as president of the interim government on Monday © MALIK KONATE Malian strongman Colonel Assimi Goita is expected to be installed as president of the interim government on Monday

The second putsch has sparked diplomatic uproar, prompting both the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to suspend Mali.

France on Friday suspended joint military operations with Malian forces, and stopped providing military advice.

The former colonial power has thousands of troops stationed in the Sahel to help fight jihadist violence that erupted in Mali in 2012 and now threatens the region.

"Mali must look for other partners, France is not the only country in the world," said Abdoulaye Cisse, a young M5 member at the protest.

Not everyone agreed.

Civil servant Kalou Sow said that the "Malian people should be grateful to France," but admitted that "eight years without results is not easy".

Mali’s transitional president resigns while in detention

  Mali’s transitional president resigns while in detention BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Mali’s transitional president and prime minister will be released from detention gradually after resigning in the presence of international arbitrators who are in the West African nation to mediate the political crisis, the adviser to the military authority who detained the two leaders said late Wednesday. The resignation by the leader of an 18-month civilian transitional government risks plunging the troubled nation into further instability. The U.N.

Hundreds of supporters of Mali ’s M5 opposition movement have gathered in the capital Bamako to show support to the military days after Mali underwent a second coup. The rally on Friday was held in Independence Square in Bamako to commemorate the founding of the movement, which powered mass protests last year. France ’s defence ministry said the suspension was a “conservative and temporary measure” pending “guarantees” that Mali ’s ruling military will stage elections in February 2022.

Mali ’s military has also received backlash from within the continent, with both the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announcing the country’s expulsion from the groups this week. Unlike ECOWAS, which did not take further measures against Mali , the AU threatened the country with sanctions. On Friday, at a rally in the Malian capital Bamako, Maiga told the crowds that “sanctions and threats will only complicate the situation.” Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Observers were closely watching Friday's rally for hints at Mali's future political direction.

Goita may name a leading M5 figure as his new prime minister, a move that some argue could soften international criticism of the second coup.

The colonel is expected to be formally appointed as Mali's transitional president on Monday, which would pave the way towards naming a civilian prime minister -- a key international demand.

Choguel Kokalla Maïga et al. around each other: Mali's protest movement has put forward Choguel Maiga, centre, as prime minister © Michele Cattani Mali's protest movement has put forward Choguel Maiga, centre, as prime minister

- 'Guarantees' -


Video: Mali unrest: what impact on the fight against jihadist groups in the region? (France 24)

France's defence ministry said suspending its military cooperation was a "conservative and temporary measure" pending "guarantees" that the ruling military will stage elections in February 2022.

crisis in Mali calls neighboring countries on the plan

 crisis in Mali calls neighboring countries on the plan after the second coup in Mali within one year is the country before isolation - France threatens with the deduction of his anti-terror troops. West Africa's head of state superior to how to react. © AP Photo / Picture Alliance Colonel Assimi Goita is the new strong man in Mali The heads of state and government of the West African economic community Ecowas have come together to a special summit in Ghana. After the second coup in Mali within a year, they now advise a common reaction.

Mali 's popular opposition movement on Sunday said it had rejected a political charter for an 18-month transition government, backed by the ruling junta . "M5-RFP distances itself from the resulting document which does not reflect the views and decisions of the Malian people," said the coalition in a The 15-nation West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS has warned that by Tuesday the junta must designate a civilian leader to head a one-year transition period or else the country could face further sanctions. ECOWAS has already stopped financial transfers into the country and has closed its

France has halted its joint navy operations with Mali 's armed forces, the protection ministry has introduced, because it seeks to push the Malian navy to cede energy again to the democratically-elected authorities. “ France , after informing its companions and the Malian authorities, has determined to droop, as a precaution and quickly, joint navy operations with the Malian forces, in addition to nationwide advisory missions that profit them,” the French Ministry of Armed Forces stated in an announcement on Thursday.

Mali's armed forces are poorly equipped in their fight with the highly mobile insurgents.

They depend crucially on airpower and surveillance provided by the 5,100-man Barkhane force.

The French mission has jet fighters and drones at a base near Niamey, the capital of neighbouring Niger, as well as access to French military satellites and intelligence provided by allies.

French army spokesman Frederic Barbry told AFP that Barkhane troops will continue to operate in Mali but joint operations with the country's military have been suspended.

This also applies to military training and to the French-initiated international alliance of special forces, known as Takuba, Barby added.

A Western diplomat, who requested anonymity, said that French troops are in practice no longer leaving their bases.

French forces will nonetheless continue to launch air strikes on jihadist leaders, the diplomat added.

Mali's junta did not comment on France's decision.

- Influential imam -

On August 18 last year, Goita led army officers in ousting elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, following mass protests over perceived corruption and the bloody jihadist insurgency.

Mali strongman tasked with naming new prime minister

  Mali strongman tasked with naming new prime minister Malian strongman Colonel Assimi Goita returned home on Monday after West African leaders condemned a recent coup that cemented his grip on power and tasked him with naming a new prime minister. Dozens of supporters greeted Goita on his arrival, an AFP journalist said. At a crisis summit in Ghana, the ECOWAS leaders condemned a recent coup -- the second in nine months -- but stopped short of reimposing sanctions on the volatile Sahel country. TheDozens of supporters greeted Goita on his arrival, an AFP journalist said.

M5 had spearheaded the protests against Keita in 2020, but was subsequently sidelined in the army-dominated post-coup administration.

This transitional government pledged to reform the constitution by October, and stage elections in February next year.

But the M5 became a vocal critic, calling the transitional government a "disguised military regime."

There has been a rapprochement between the group and the army since the May 24 coup, however.

Goita has said he would prefer to name an M5 figure as his prime minister and the group put forward one of its cadres, Choguel Maiga, as a candidate.

But that choice has in turn raised questions about Mali's future, in particular concerning the potential role of religious leader Mahmoud Dicko, who is close to Maiga.

The influential imam was viewed as the figurehead of the M5 during the anti-Keita protests, but later distanced himself from the movement.

Maiga is also a vocal critic of the 2015 Algiers peace accord, a shaky agreement between the central government and several armed groups.

The deal, which has never been fully implemented, is seen as crucial to ending Mali's grinding conflict.

Speaking on Friday Maiga pledged that Mali would "respect our international commitments which are not contrary to the fundamental interests of the Malian people," adding that there were no international commitments that were "fundamentally against the interests of Mali".

He told people rallying in Bamako that Mali needed a helping hand from its allies but that "invective, sanctions, threats will only complicate the situation".

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Assimi Goita Sworn In as Mali's President Following Second Coup in 9 Months .
"I would like to reassure the international community that Mali will honor all of its commitments," said Col. Assimi Goita.Goita promised that presidential elections, set for February 2022, would be held in the future as a commitment to the original transitional government agreement last year. His seizure of power has come under international scrutiny after he ousted the country's democratically elected president in August 2020.

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