Friday, May 18, 2012

Then, when you’ve finished trabouling, you don’t eat in restaurants, but in Bouchons, where you don’t drink wine from wine bottles but from pots, beautiful thick-glass- bottomed bottles and where you eat Cerveille de Canut (silk- weaver brains) and finish off with Fromage St. Marcelin.

All in all a much recommended experience.

And now on to Wien and Krakow tomorrow.

And, in the midst of all this merry making, what about poor Mali?

Keita is in good health and safe in Segou. In Djenne the library team is still working according to plan, although still at night because of continuous day-time lack of electricity. Baba and Maman at the hotel are not very forthcoming with news, which may or may not be a good sign… ‘Is everything OK?’ I ask every other day, and get the same tongue-tied reply: ‘Oh yes, everything is fine!’

But Mali is of course not fine. And the rest of the world has seemingly forgotten about it.
There is a crisis looming in a few days, on the 22nd of May when the 40-day period of the interim Prime Minster Diankounda Traore runs out. According to the Malian constitution elections should now be held. This is of course going to be impossible with half the country in rebel hands. But much pressure will be put on captain Sanogo and his team to disappear from the scene and ‘return to the barracks’ as his opponents in the ECOWAS, many of whom also came ‘from the barracks’ at some point are fond of calling it. I do not believe he will do so. This is likely to entail new sanctions from the ECOWAS and unrest in Bamako and elsewhere… Keita and his friends still do not want him to quit power, and there are many who agree. Others want a return to the old order at whatever cost- this cost is viewed by Keita and his like-minded to be the certain return to endemic corruption and powerlessness for the people if and when the old political elite gets back into power.


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