Bamako (AFP) Mali’s constitutional court Wednesday dealt another blow to embattled President Ibrahima Boubacar Keita over a controversial referendum, saying changes his government wants to make to the national charter require “corrections”. A referendum on Mali’s national charter was due on July 9 but was postponed indefinitely in the face of internal opposition in government and following protests by thousands of Malians. The project is controversial as it would establish a Senate with a third of the seats appointed by Keita himself, leading critics to accuse him of consolidating hisRead More
Bamako (AFP) French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Mali on Sunday to consolidate Western backing for a regional anti-jihadist force, with France urging greater support for the Sahel region amid mounting insecurity. The so-called “G5 Sahel” countries just south of the Sahara — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger — have pledged to fight jihadists on their own soil with instability and Islamist attacks on the rise. Macron is joining the heads of state of these nations in Bamako for a special summit where France’s full support for theRead More
Bamako (AFP) French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday threw his weight behind a planned Sahel force to fight jihadists on a lightning visit to Mali but told countries in the region their efforts had to bear fruit. Faced with a growing number of jihadist attacks in central Mali which have also hit neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger, the so-called G5 Sahel nations have moved to set up a regional force to tackle the threat. The aim is to combat the wave of Islamist bombings, shootings and kidnappings in the Sahel,Read More
Bamako (AFP) Al-Qaeda’s Mali branch has released a proof-of-life video of six foreign hostages, including elderly Australian surgeon Arthur Kenneth Elliott and Frenchwoman Sophie Petronin, US-based monitoring group SITE said. The 16 minute, 50 second video by Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen, also known as the Group to Support Islam and Muslims, was released on Telegram on Saturday, SITE said. The other four hostages shown are South African Stephen McGown, Romanian Iulian Ghergut, Swiss missionary Beatrice Stockly and Colombian nun Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argoti. No group had previously claimed responsibility forRead More
Bamako (AFP) About 2,000 people rallied Saturday in conflict-torn Mali against a constitutional referendum over concerns the proposed changes hand the president too much power, an AFP correspondent said. During the demonstration in the capital Bamako, which organisers say attracted 10,000 people, protesters held signs reading “Don’t touch my Constitution”, “No, means no” and “No to the referendum”. The protest, which authorities said was not authorised under the state of emergency, took place on the eve of the so-called “G5 Sahel” summit aimed at consolidating Western backing for a regionalRead More