Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Mali’s opposition rejects West African leaders’ plan to end deadlock

Mali’s opposition rejects West African leaders’ plan to end deadlock
epa08518547 Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita wears a face mask during the G5 Sahel Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania, 30 June 2020. The leaders of the G5 Sahel West African countries and their ally France are meeting to confer over their troubled efforts to stem a jihadist offensive unfolding in the region, six months after rebooting their campaign in Pau, southwestern France. EPA-EFE/LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL MAXPPP OUT

BAMAKO, July 28 (Reuters) - Mali's opposition coalition on Tuesday formally rejected a plan proposed by West African leaders for ending a political crisis, raising the prospect of more mass anti-government demonstrations in the coming weeks.

Tens of thousands of people answered opposition calls for protests in early June over contested local elections, perceived government corruption and incompetence. Police killings of protesters further inflamed anger against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who the opposition insists should resign.

Heads of state of members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) proposed on Monday that the members of parliament whose elections were contested should step down and that by-elections be held. It also called for a government of national unity and an inquiry on the deaths.

President Keita responded with a cabinet reshuffle late on Monday, naming six ministers to core positions, including Tiebile Drame as foreign minister and General Ibrahim Dahirou Dembele as defence minister. They are tasked with negotiating with the opposition to form the government of national unity.

But the plan was unlikely to be accepted by the M5-RFP opposition coalition, which has spearheaded anti-Keita protests and already flatly rejected an earlier version of the proposals from the bloc.

“The M5-RFP states with regret that the conclusions of the Heads of State Summit do not take into account the depth and gravity of the sociopolitical crisis that has Mali’s future hanging in the balance,” it said in a statement.

It said the proposals did not “correspond to the expectations and aspirations of the people of Mali and violate the laws and constitution of Mali.”

The coalition has said it would restart the protests on August 3 if their demands are not met.

The unrest has raised concerns that it could derail the fight against Islamist extremists in the region. (Additional reporting by Edward McAllister Editing by Bate Felix and Raissa Kasolowsky)

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.