Mali’s Keita Promises to Reform Constitutional Court

  • The court has been at center of a political dispute after it declared results of the disputed legislative elections.
  • Reform of the constitutional court has been one of the demands of the protesters.
  • Last month, thousands of protesters gathered in the streets on two different occasions.

Mali’s President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, has promised to reform the country’s constitutional court. He made the announcement through a televised speech. “In the hours and days to come, the constitutional court will be reconvened and put into operation as soon as possible,” the president said.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, or as he is often known as IBK, is the incumbent President of Mali since 2013. Keïta is the founding father of a left-wing political party called Rally for Mali (RPM) in 2001.

The court has been at center of a political dispute after it declared results of the disputed legislative elections. It is one of the demands of his opponents, who have taken to the streets on a number of occasions.

Last month, thousands of protesters gathered in the streets on two different occasions calling for the resignation of the president. The first was held on June 5, and the second on June 19. The protests have been dubbed “Movement of 5 June- Rally of Patriotic Forces.”

A coalition of opposition group that is led by Imam Mahmoud Dicko has been demanding political and economic reforms. It is alleged that the opposition sent to the president demanding his resignation. The resignation calls has been prompted by the rise in militants and inter-communal violence in the country.

The declaration comes a few days after President Keita met Imam Dicko. A video posted by the presidency showed the meeting between the president and Dicko, an influential imam and prominent religious leader.

“We talked about everything that concerns this crisis and the country in general. I think that with the will of everyone and all the parties concerned, we will, God willing find a solution,” Dicko said in the video. He added that, as an Imam, his major role is ensuring peace in the country and around the world.

Political tensions in the country began after the disputed legislative election that was held in March. The country’s economy is also said to be worsening amid the coronavirus pandemic. Corruption is another big problem in the country. The protesters said that not much was being done to fight corruption or fix the ailing economy.

The Mali War, Northern Mali Conflict or Mali Civil War is a series of armed conflicts that started from January 2012 between the northern and southern parts of Mali in Africa. Despite the signing of a peace accord in the capital on 15 April 2015, low-level fighting continues.

The president had earlier pledged to form a new government, inclusive of the opposition, but despite the negotiation between the two groups, the protests took place as scheduled.

The talks between the two side are being mediated by the West African Regional bloc, ECOWAS. The organization was instrumental in ensuring that the country returned to democracy in 2013, when Keita was elected. Keita secured his second five-year term in 2018.

Mali’s previous ruler, Amadou Toumani Touré, was overthrown in a military coup in 2012. Touré had spent a decade in power. The French-led military operation ousted the Islamic extremists from power.

Throughout Keita’s leadership, the militants have been attacking the country’s military personnel and the United Nations peacekeepers.  The militants, with links to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, have expanded the reach to central Mali, causing animosity and violence between ethnic groups in the region.

Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed by the insurgents, and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes due to the ever rising insurgency.

The violence in the country has since spread to its neighbors, Niger and Burkina Faso. According to UN figures, about 4,000 people were killed in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso in 2019, and thousands others displaced.

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Juliet Norah

I am a freelance journalist is passionate about news. I derive pleasure in informing people about the happenings in the world

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