Saturday, February 02, 2013

Historic day in Mali

Whatever happens next, every Malian will remember the 2nd of February 2013. It was a moment to savour unconditionally, the sort of day that arrives only every few decades in the history of a country:  Mali was exploding in two- fold celebrations:

 President Holland, accompanied by  Diounkounda Traore,  touched down in Sevare, Timbuktu and Bamako on a whistle stop tour of Mali  to greet and congratulate the French and  Malian forces for their success in the liberation of the North.  Wherever they  went they were acclaimed like heroes and  greeted by huge crowds waving French and Malian flags. It rather went to Hollande’s head and he confessed to the euphoric  audience  that ‘this is the most important day of my political life’.

He made it clear however that the recapture of Mali is not yet completed, and he admitted that Kidal had not yet been secured.  But the Malians who had doubted the French over  Kidal and the MNLA were assured  by Hollande’s insistence that the French would stand by  Mali until the country has regained their  territory in its totality.

And as if this was not enough, Mali’s national team beat South Africa on penalties this evening, thereby qualifying for the semi-final in the cup of African Nations, and causing more major traffic jams and celebrations in all major towns of Mali!


Blogger Kim Hart said...

Wonderful,wonderful news! The number of empty seats at the footy makes us wish we were there - and the scenes of jubilation from Bamako. The end made be a long way off but lets hope its the beginning of it!

2:18 PM  
Blogger David said...

You came over more eloquently than all the others on the World Service this morning. I think they cast their net a bit too wide, but glad they included you, at least...

12:16 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Yes, Kim! Let's hope it is the beginning of a satisfactory end to this sorry chapter in Mali's history. It is sometimes a good feeling to celebrate NOW- the future will come soon enough with all its problems...And QUE MALI GAGNE LE COUP d'AFRIQUE! Ala Ka an Deme!
Thank you David for those words! I was very worried before the World service broad cast thinking I would lose all sense of reason and start stammering nonsense in front of 200 000 000 listeners, but, alhamdiluyllah, I think I managed to make sense. I was very pleased that I managed just before the end to squeeze in my objection to the comment by Mark Doyle that 'Mali wanted to have a well trained Army to 'crush the North'! As if it was some sort of crime to want the country's Army to become well trained!

2:07 PM  
Blogger David said...

Frankly I didn't warm to MD - then all the guff about Mopti, nicely situated though it is, being the 'Venice of Mali' - perpetuating those worldwise tourist cliches. Not that I'm saying people shouldn't stop off there.

Tried to record it but my mp3 batteries were flat, sorry.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

You did brilliantly, Sophie. Have just listened. Proud of you! You put that guy Mark Doyle in his place, which he needed. He was being tendentious (under the guise of being balanced, but actually not being).

I managed to download the podcast, so have it as an mp3 file, which presumably means I can send it to you if you'd like it.

12:28 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

thank you David and Andrew!

8:09 PM  
Blogger jorenmathew said...

Great to know about the history.I liked the history most. Hotel Frankfurt

12:11 PM  

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