Choguel Kokalla Maïga, tipped to become the Prime Minister of the Malian transition, declared, Friday, June 4, that his country would respect its international commitments, but that ” punishments “ complicate the situation, referring to the French announcement of the suspension of joint military operations.
“We will respect our international commitments which are not contrary to the fundamental interests of the Malian people”, he said while adding, during a rally in Bamako, “That there are no international commitments known to all that are fundamentally against the interests of Mali”.
The colonels committed after their 2020 putsch and under international pressure to a transition period limited to eighteen months and led by civilians. On May 24, Colonel Assimi Goïta, who remained the real strongman of the transition, trampled on this commitment by arresting the President and the Prime Minister. Colonel Goïta has since been declared president of the transition by the Constitutional Court.
Mr. Maïga holds the rope to be appointed prime minister of a government supposed to prepare this return to power of civilians in nine months now. He could be appointed after the investiture, scheduled for Monday, of Colonel Goïta as president.
Mali “needs us to hold its hand”
This veteran of Malian politics, and now a figure of the so-called June 5 movement (M5), spoke the day after the French announcement of the suspension of its joint operations with the Malian army, after the second coup de force of Colonel Goïta, May 24. France is demanding guarantees that a civilian prime minister will be appointed and that elections will take place in February 2022 with a view to bringing civilians back to power.
“The commitments that exist must be implemented in the exclusive interest of Mali”, said Mr. Maïga, who advocated “Realism and [le] pragmatism “. But Malians must say “To the international community that[ils] account[nt] on his understanding. The invectives, the sanctions, the threats will only complicate the situation “, he added, while paying tribute to the French soldiers killed in Mali. “We have to tell our friends: our people need us to hold their hand”, did he declare.
To stay up to date with African news, subscribe to the “Monde Afrique” newsletter from this link. Every Saturday at 6 am, find a week of current events and debates treated by the editorial staff of “Monde Afrique”.
On Friday, the World Bank announced that it has ” temporarily put on hold disbursements from its operations in Mali while it closely monitors and assesses the situation ”. This decision has, according to a spokesperson, been taken “In accordance with the Bank’s policy applicable to similar situations” to that which occurred in Mali.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also suspended Mali from its bodies, also demanding the appointment of a new civilian prime minister and the maintenance of elections at the beginning of 2022. May 26 , the UN Security Council had issued a condemnation ” closed “ but no sanctions.