Breaking : Mali Junta Lifts Ban on Political Activities

Breaking : Mali Junta Lifts Ban on Political Activities

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By Emmanuel Abi Couson




Mali’s military junta has lifted its ban on political party activities put in place to safeguard public order.

This was announced by the council of ministers late on Wednesday.

The suspension, initially enforced in April, came just days before the start of a national dialogue for peace in the Sahelian nation, which has been grappling with a jihadist insurgency for over a decade and has been under military rule since August 2020.

“By taking this deterrent measure, the government was able to contain all the threats of public disorder that hung over this major event,” the council stated. With the focus now shifting to the implementation of recommendations from the peace dialogue held between April 13 and May 10, the government has decided to allow political parties to resume their activities.

The junta, which seized power in a second coup in 2021, had previously reneged on a promise to hold elections in February, citing technical reasons and postponing the vote indefinitely. This decision sparked anger among political parties and civil society groups, who called for a return to constitutional order.

The suspension of political party activities was seen as a measure to maintain stability during the peace talks, and its lifting is perceived as a step towards normalising the political landscape. However, the indefinite postponement of elections remains a point of contention, with many demanding a clear roadmap for the country’s return to democracy.

Mali is not alone in its struggle with political instability and insurgency. Since August 2020, West and Central Africa have experienced eight coups, including in neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, both of which are fighting similar jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State. The region’s ongoing turmoil highlights the complex challenges faced by these nations in their pursuit of peace and stability.

Colonel Assimi Goïta is the Malian military officer who has been serving as interim President of Mali since 28 May 2021.

Goïta was the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, a military junta that seized power from former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in the 2020 Malian coup d’état.

Goïta later took power from Bah Ndaw after the 2021 Malian coup d’état and has since been constitutionally declared interim president of Mali.

Assimi Goïta was born in 1983. The son of an officer of the Malian Armed Forces, he was trained in the military academies of Mali and notably attended the Prytanée militaire de Kati and the Joint Military School in Koulikoro.He is married to Lala Diallo, who is a member of the Fula people.

Goïta served as a colonel in the Autonomous Special Forces Battalion, the special forces unit of the Malian Armed Forces. He heads the Malian special forces in the center of the country with the rank of colonel. He is thus confronted with the jihadist insurgency in Mali. In 2018, he met Mamady Doumbouya, from Guinea, in Burkina Faso during a training session organised by the US army, which was reserved for the region’s special forces commanders.

Both he and Mamady Doumbouya would later launch military coups against their governments.

Goïta serves as the leader of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, a group of rebels who overthrew Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta in the 2020 Malian coup d’état, and have pledged to initiate new elections to replace him. Because of this pledge, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) pressured Mali’s ruling junta for the country to be led by a civilian. On 21 September he was named vice president by a group of 17 electors, with Bah Ndaw being appointed president.

He was appointed vice president of the Transition on 21 September 2020, a position he will hold for 18 months, until new elections. He took the oath of office on 25 September 2020.On 1 October 2020, the “Mali Transition Letter” was published where it was specified, in response to the request of the ECOWAS, that the vice president “in charge of defense and security issues” would not be able to replace President Bah Ndaw.

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