Monday, April 30, 2012

What a Mess !

More amateur political commentating, this time emanating from the jacuzzi at Champneys Health Spa in Bedfordshire:

My world has crumbled- what to do? There is only one answer: spend a few days at a health farm, indulging is some unrepentant pampering. I log on now and then when I surface between the Pilates classes and the pedicure/massage sessions to try and figure out what is going on in poor Mali.

The news coverage is more than sketchy.

The ECOWAS has offered 3000 troops to go to Mali. The decision came at a meeting in Abidjan on the 27th of April, in the presence of the interim Malian president Dionkounda Traore.
Mali has told them to get on their bike: Why?

I was only guessing the answer to that- the reporting is so bad that it is virtually incomprehensible. My guess turned out to be correct and Keita confirmed it over the phone…

Why doesn’t Mali want the 3000 soldiers? God knows they need some help! The fact is that these soldiers were not to be deployed to go and help recapture the occupied north; they were to stay in Bamako to ensure the transition to democratic government apparently!
It was also decided by the same ECOWAS meeting that the transition period would take one year. That is not their decision! What irks most Malians is that the ECOWAS have no right to meddle in Malian affairs. The meeting that was already held in Ouagadougou on the 6 April with the mediator chosen by the said ECOWAS, Blaise Compaore had already set out the frame work for the transition. There was no need to go over old ground. So now there is impasse- and Malians are quite angry with their new interim president Dionkounda Traore for allowing himself to be trampled on by the ECOWAS, and not representing the country properly. But who knows? Perhaps he agreed to the one year transition date, enjoying the thought of staying for a year as president?
The point is, it is not for the ECOWAS to decide! The Malian constitution has provisions for cases like this. The transition may take longer than a year even. It will take as long as it takes. The north must be liberated before the elections can take place. And while all this useless politicking is going on, people are dying in the north, and the rebels, terrorists, Islamic fundamentalists and other assorted elements are getting more entrenched every day! It is a sorry affair, deteriorating by the day, exacerbated by 'international helpers' such as the ECOWAS who are making things worse!


Blogger Susan Scheid said...

It's so dismaying, isn't it? And part of what makes it so dismaying is how typically wrong-headed all this seems to be. May your visit to the health farm be restorative, and we'll all be hoping for better news from Mali.

3:01 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Indded Susan, thank you! Off to the pedicure...

8:15 AM  
Blogger David said...

And now a counter-coup! It seems the country can't unite to solve the real problem. I noted an Ecowas spokesman on record as saying that the promised troops would be there to sort out the problem in the north...

Lovely to see you on home ground the other night. Hope you're suitably manicured, pedicured, and all-else-cured by your spastay.

10:37 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

A countercoup indeed! But fortunately unsuccessful.

The Ecowas, as you noted, say intermittently that the promised troops are to help with the North. However, the main reason is the following, in the words of Reuters today:
" Mali's ruling junta has named an interim government in a first step to restoring constitutional order since the coup, but it has balked at a plan by regional bloc ECOWAS to send more than 3,000 troops to help oversee a one-year transition."

11:38 AM  

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