Thousands of Malians demonstrated in Bamako on Wednesday (September 22) to support the military-dominated transitional government in the face of international pressure, according to AFP correspondents.
The transitional authorities and their president, Colonel Assimi Goïta, are under pressure, in particular from France and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS, fifteen countries), to organize elections in February and forgo any possible cooperation with the Russian private security group Wagner.
In a speech delivered Tuesday evening on the eve of 61e anniversary of independence, Colonel Goïta called on the country’s partners to “A better understanding of the situation in Mali, marked by a deep multidimensional crisis”.
Many participants in the rally on Wednesday, at the call of the Yerewolo movement, waved Malian flags and some Russian flags. Others carried signs that read: “Long live Assimi, long live the transition, long live the government”.
“France has had nine years without results”
“France and the international community have spent nine years without results, without security, without protection of people and goods”, said Siriki Kouyaté, spokesperson for Yerewolo, in reference to the launch of the French military operation against the jihadists in northern Mali in January 2013. “This cannot continue”, he added, believing that since then, insecurity had spread to the whole country.
“We are against any outside interference”, declared Adama Tangara, head of a movement in support of the Sharif of Nioro (north-west), Bouyé Haïdara, an influential Muslim religious leader, who spoke in favor of a transition of several years instead of eighteen months planned to return power to elected civilians.
The president of the Group of Patriots of Mali, Keïta Fatoumata Kouyaté, for her part assured that a petition launched by her movement in 2016 “To ask Russia to intervene in Mali” had collected nearly 8 million signatures, out of 19 million inhabitants.
“Today, Mali is going through difficult times, but we must not despair of our nation, of our State”Colonel Goïta said on Wednesday in an interview for the national holiday.
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