We invite you to a webinar on the situation in Mali: next Sunday, 23.1.2022, at 19h CET: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3216854044
This is our perspective that we want to discuss:
In Mali, a broad civil movement has forced the government to resign. Since then, the military has ruled, meanwhile with a civilian prime minister: The military-civilian government wants to politically re-found Mali through citizens' assemblies. To this end, it has organized citizens' assemblies throughout the country in recent months. People were able to voice their needs and visions for the new Mali. The ideas are now being collected. The government continues to tackle corruption and wants to have the contracts for the extraction of raw materials reviewed. There were fears at the meetings that if elections were held on the date agreed with the West African community of states ECOWAS, in February, the old forces that led the country into crisis would reassert themselves. More time is needed to form new forces from the population, to adopt a new constitution and also a new electoral law, he said. In addition, the government intends to hold talks with the jihadist groups to end the violence. The government has proposed to ECOWAS that the elections be postponed. ECOWAS is uncompromising and demands that the deadline be met. It is using the leverage of extensive sanctions against one of the poorest countries in the world (184 out of 189 states) and even threatening a war of aggression by mobilizing the intervention force if it deems its intervention necessary.
The sanctions include:
Closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali.
Suspension of trade in goods between ECOWAS member states and Mali. This excludes essential goods such as food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and supplies, including means to combat COVID-19, and petroleum products and energy
Freezing of assets of the Malian state and state-owned enterprises at the ECOWAS central bank and commercial banks
The West African states are following the same policy as the U.S. government, which has adopted economic sanctions, and France, which is promoting sanctions (although it has just welcomed a military coup in Chad). Both countries wanted to push for sanctions against Mali in the UN Security Council. The governments of China and Russia prevented that from happening.
From our Fix our Countries, Fix our world campaign, we advocate lifting sanctions immediately. We call on ECOWAS to end the mobilization of the intervention force and instead support the social and democratic awakening in Mali.
Mali is now addressing many of the problems that afflict people in all African countries (and in countries on other continents as well): corruption, lack of political influence by the citizens inside, squandering of raw materials to industrialized countries, lack of pressure on industrialized countries, the perpetrators of climate change, to change their climate policies and compensate for the consequences of climate change, escalation of ethnic and religious antagonisms by Western industrialized countries to weaken African countries and loot raw materials via collaboration with militias.
This should be supported. Critically supported, because in Mali there should be elections after a reasonable time, so that the people have the say and new undemocratic power structures do not develop. If ECOWAS' concern is to strengthen the democratic participation of the people in Mali and to demand popularly elected governments and to prevent military intervention, that should be supported. But then they should also see the progress in Mali and not destroy that. They should not support the U.S. and France, who are only concerned about maintaining their domination, exploiting raw materials and space for their exports, and weakening Africa. The African states should negotiate a fair agreement with Mali in a process of dialogue. We have made a suggestion of what that might look like below.
How can this be achieved? What can we contribute?
The governments will only listen to us if these demands are supported by many citizens .and they ultimately have to fear for their re-election. We therefore seek first to inform many people and then to come together in meetings or demonstrations and demand together from politicians, national or those in the constituencies, a change in Mali policy: the lifting of sanctions and solidarity agreements with Mali. We should inform each other what we know about Mali, exchange with people in Mali, and learn with and from each other how to move forward in uniting.
We can only solve many challenges together, not in confrontation. With our campaign: "Fix our countries, Fix our world" we can make progress with an international and especially West African alliance to support the Malians. Then we will have more strength to build together a world in which all can live without need and fear, as agreed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
more aticles ablut Mali on Blog: Nachrichten | Black and White (initiative-blackandwhite.org)