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Africa

2012-07-28

AFRICA/MALI - "I forgive my attackers," says President ad interim upon his return to Mali

Bamako (Agenzia Fides) - "I forgive my attackers," said President ad interim of Mali, Dioncounda Traore, on his return home after a long period of convalescence in France, to heal the wounds caused by the aggression within the presidential palace last May (see Fides 22/05/2012).
Traoré was welcomed on July 27 at the airport in Bamako by the Premier of the transition Cheick Modibo Diarra. The President ad interim must immediately commit himself to forming by 31 July, a government of national unity as required by neighboring Countries, which would otherwise threaten sanctions.
Neighboring States to Mali are indeed very concerned about the instability of the Country, divided by a north in the hands of Islamist groups that have marginalized the secular National Liberation Movement of Azawad (MNLA), and the south where there is political instability following the military coup on March 22. The international community (USA, France and West African States in the lead) have lobbied hard to start a transition process to enable to return to legality and democracy. The political divisions in Bamako in fact prevent to face the crisis in the north, where the presence of Islamist movements alarm the neighboring States and the West.
French diplomacy has been active in promoting African initiative both concerning negotiating terms (in particular by initiating talks with the MNLA) and, if necessary, at a military level. The proposal for a post in northern Mali of a African military mission (with the support of the French and others) is not well seen by the majority of Malians, who would prefer a "Malian" solution through a broad consultation of all the political and social members of the Country.
But a "Malian" solution of the crisis in the north would mean creating a government of national unity that is recognized and accepted by all. And this is the challenge that Traore will have to face in the coming days. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 28/7/2012)

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