MALI. Bamako: Mali’s interim leader Moctar Quane has announced that he is ready to take the country on the path to peace and hold elections at the end of his 18 month period.
Quane was handed power after former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was deposed in a military coup in August 2020.
International sanctions forced the military officers to hand over power to a civilian interim regime for 18 months with Quane as in charge.
“We are ready to pursue dialogue and hold free and fair elections,” he said.
To enhance the country’s security, the interim leader said the government plans to recruit 25,000 soldiers to confront militias who have sprung up in north of the country.
According to the reports, some of the areas in Mali are still under the control of jihadists.
Meanwhile, France that has seen some of its military personnel being attacked in the Mali conflict says there is no room for dialogue.
President Emmanuel Macron has said his country will send 5,000 troops to Mali “to finish off all insurgency”.
Conflict with no end?
Thousands of people have been killed in the Mali conflict.
Similar to other African countries, the Malian conflict has been spurred by disagreement between the central government and some elements in Northern Mali.
The north feels that it is underrepresented in the central government and are thus denied economic support.
Most uprisings by the Tuaregs and Arabs have received support from the north.
The north has a population of at least 1.3 million of the country’s total 14.5 million.
Even though there have been peace agreements between government and the northern tribes, the tribes themselves comprising Tuaregs,Arabs, Fulani and Songhay are not united.
From the 1960s till date Mali has seen four rebellions by the Tuareg and five peace treaties which have yielded no results.