Malian parties and civil society refuse prolonged military rule

A coalition of Malian political parties and civil society entities has rebuffed the outcomes of a national dialogue orchestrated by the military junta, which advocated for an extension of military governance, branding the entire process as a “farce”.

Since a series of coups in 2020 and 2021, Mali has been under military control, with Colonel Assimi Goita leading an intra-Malian dialogue since December in an attempt to address the country’s prolonged crisis.

In a statement shared on social media and verified by media, the collective of parties and civil groups vehemently criticized the legitimacy of the intra-Malian dialogue initiated by the ruling authorities, dismissing its proposals. They accused the military of attempting to perpetuate their rule by holding Mali and its citizens hostage.

Mali has grappled with political and security turmoil since 2012, stemming from jihadist assaults, armed group activities, and separatist movements in the north.

Initially pledging to organize elections and transition power to civilians by March’s end, the military later postponed the elections indefinitely.

The dialogue’s recommendations, disclosed on Friday, advocated for an extended military tenure and proposed Colonel Goita as a presidential candidate in future elections, a move widely anticipated to be implemented.

However, a significant portion of the opposition abstained from the dialogue, alleging manipulation by the military to cling to power.

In April, amidst allegations of silencing dissent, the military suspended all party-political engagements, prompting some of the suspended groups to join the chorus of rejection against the dialogue’s outcomes.

According to them, the dialogue’s suggestions disregard the populace’s desires, highlighting the exclusion of opposition voices. They lambasted the authorities for their failure to address the pressing issues faced by Malians daily, such as insecurity, soaring living costs, and electricity shortages.

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