AFRICA/MALI - The President of Mali has asked for the intervention of ECOWAS troops to reconquer the north and protect the institutions
Bamako (Agenzia Fides) – The ad interim President of Mali, Dioncounda Traoré, has officially requested ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States, also known by the English acronym of ECOWAS) to send troops to help the Malian army to reconquer the north of the Country taking it away from armed groups that have been controlling it for months and to contribute to the security of national institutions. "It is not yet clear whether this request has been made in full accordance with the Malian military top brass" says to Fides Fr. Edmond Dembele, Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Mali.
"The matter was discussed in recent weeks by the government and military commanders," explains Fr.Dembele. "The latter opposed the request of ECOWAS troops to ensure the protection of the institutions. For the military command if there is to be a military intervention by ECOWAS in Mali this must be aimed solely at the reconquest of the north. According to the military institutions of Bamako they must be protected only by Malian soldiers."
In March, a military coup overthrew the legitimate President, and only thanks to international pressure the military junta had taken a step back, allowing the creation of provisional institutions pending new elections. "The request made by the ad interim President is still referred to the protection of institutions. We do not know if the President’s step was made in accordance with the army, or whether this was a unilateral action by the Head of State. Certainly the Malian army intends to use foreign aid to regain the north," concludes Fr. Dembele. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/09/2012)
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