Insecurity and economic crisis in Mali triggered civilians to protest against their government. An upsurge in insurgencies and deteriorating economy are major issues in Mali which the government has not addressed. Following the opposition, President Keita met with Mahmoud, an Imam, and movement leader to discuss the issues. The video of their meeting was posted on the president’s Twitter account. It is the first time, the two officially met since the onset of the demonstrations.
Concerns of the people
The meeting occurred on Saturday in Bamako. The civilians protested because of insecurity in the country. Thousands lost their lives during inter-ethnic conflicts and insurgencies by armed militia groups. These attacks have rendered Mali unsafe, forcing residents to flee from their homes.
Mali is among the poorest states around the globe. The violence began in Mali with Tuareg separatists who grew to form armed groups. Despite an alliance with French and UN troops, the attacks have spread to central Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The people living in these states fear for their lives, they didn’t know when to expect an attack.
Thousands of soldiers and civilians have died during the attacks and, hundreds of thousands fled their homes.
Dicko stated in the video that they had discussed the issues at hand and, hopefully, they would find solutions. He said that as an Imam, he had an obligation to restore peace and, as such, urged the civilians to remain peaceful.
‘We talked about everything that concerns this crisis and the country in general. I think that with the will of everyone and of all the parties concerned, we will, God willing, find the solution,” Dicko said in the video.
“My role as an imam, as I have said, obliges me to be someone who always considers peace as being essential: peace in our country, the sub-region and in the world.”
Meeting gone wrong
President Keita, who has been in power since 2013, also met with opposition leaders in the country to work out the political crisis. The opposition coalition consisted of politicians, religious and civil leaders. They requested the President to dissolve the parliament and form a transitional government. The latter would then provide room for prime minister. However, the opposition coalition stated that the President had ignored their demands.
Opposition coalition hikes pressure on the President Keita
In May, civilians protested following the delayed parliamentary elections in which Keita party won. Since then, the 75-year-old President pledges to the citizens to promote national unity and refrain from the protests. The opposition leaders rejected the offer and instead encouraged the people to fight for their rights.
Both President Keita and opposition failed to reach a consensus. The opposition promised to overthrow President Keita. The economic crisis in the country has heightened, no funds for schools, public services, etc. The opposition stated they were done involving President Keita in negotiations hence, they were working to overthrow him.