With the COVID-19 pandemic hurting the economy, continued instability in the east and a political tug-of-war at the heart of government, the young administration of Félix Tshisekedi is trying to impose its will, seeking allies at home and abroad.
Mali: M5-RFP coalition rejects transition charter adopted by junta
The movement behind the protests against the former president of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who was overthrown in a military coup, has rejected the junta-approved charter providing for an 18-month transition government.
The coalition of opposition groups, religious leaders and civil society representatives that led the demonstrations against Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK), overthrown on 18 August, has rejected the “transition charter” adopted on Saturday by military junta-appointed experts.
In a statement released to the press on Sunday, the 5 June Movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP) condemned the “desire to monopolise and confiscate power for the benefit of the CNSP” (the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, established by coup forces).
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The M5-RFP also said that “the final document read at the closing ceremony” of the three-day national dialogue on the transition process in Bamako “was not consistent with the outcome of the deliberations.” The group cited in particular the charter’s lack of recognition of the coalition’s role and that of “the martyrs in the Malian people’s fight for change,” as well as its disregard for “the majority choice of a transition led by a civilian.”
The M5-RFP further condemned the “intimidation, anti-democratic and unfair practices worthy of another era” and “distances itself from the resulting document which does not reflect the views and decisions of the Malian people.”
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The “transition charter” adopted on Saturday following the end of the talks, which brought together political and civil society figures – including M5-RFP representatives – as well as military leaders, has yet to be published. However, according to AFP reporters, the document under negotiation on Saturday provided for an 18-month transition government, to be led by a president named by a committee, which itself is to be set up by the military junta.
ECOWAS issues an ultimatum
According to people present during the talks, the document adopted fails to answer a key question: can the president be either a military or a civilian leader? Some of Mali’s international partners, starting with ECOWAS, are demanding that a civilian leader take over within a one-year period following a civilian-led transition.
READ MORE Mali: Rapid organisation of post-coup elections a grave error
“We ask and hope for the understanding, backing and support of the international community as we work to swiftly and properly implement the transition charter and roadmap,” said Colonel Assimi Goita, the military junta head, after the negotiations ended.
ECOWAS, which has imposed an embargo on trade and financial flows on Mali, is giving the military junta until Tuesday 15 September to appoint a civilian president and prime minister.