Friday, June 13, 2014

I can't bear it

I don’t want to write. I don’t want to think about Mali.   It is an insufferable mess. I can’t bear it. At the end of the month I am going back to a country without a rudder, without a guiding light, beset by problems much beyond the grasp of its pitiful leadership.

IBK, supposed to be the saviour of Mali, voted in by a landslide victory is proving himself to be a worse than hopeless president. I have been quiet about it for months since I was a staunch IBK  supporter. But there is no denying that that the Malian government is useless, almost as useless as the Malian army: the uselessness of which has been universally acknowledged by everyone but me and Keita of course.  

What turns my stomach most is the hopeless situation in the north of Mali.  Through the doomed  intervention of its troops on May 21 in the tragic battle of Kidal, Mali has probably sealed it fate:  there will most probably be an AZAWAD, and the French and the international community will stand by and cheer it on.  The dossier concerning the massacre at Aguelhoc in January 2012 is loitering unread in the Court of Human Rights at the Hague : no one gives a shit about murdered southerners. The MINUSMA have solicited the much hated (by the Malians) and despised Burkinabé President Compaoré to be the mediator in the negotiations between the armed rebels and the Malian government. Why don’t we just put everyone out of their misery and make AZAWAD a reality? That is what everyone really wants, apart from the Malians ( and the largest  number of Tuaregs) , but who cares about them? Let’s just put all those lovely Ançar Dine Islamists, and all the other criminals too, resurfacing as big chums of the MNLA in power in the north, why don’t we? The more the merrier! That is what everyone wants. 

Let’s talk about something else, and something bearable: no, much more than bearable, something lovely: I have spent a few days by the lake in Sweden and I have caught up with my brother Anders, with whom I had not spoken for many years. It was such a waste: I love my brother and we had such fun and then we just fell out for reasons that shall remain shrouded in clouds of forgetfulness. But now we are friends again. And that is in no small measure due to the noble  Keita: ‘Have you spoken to your brother?’ He enquired every year, and I replied sulkingly  in the negative. Last Christmas he asked the same thing, and I replied in the same way. But now he decided he had had enough of this. ‘ You are the Big Sister’, he started, with an accurate grasp of the geneaology. ‘You are going to call him, it is your duty’. It is very rare that Keita becomes emphatic. When he does he is to be Obeyed. I had no choice but to email my brother. I received an immediate response and now all is well and I have found my brother again!


Blogger David said...

We salute Keita's nobility of soul, if that doesn't sound rather grand. Of course I didn't know the whole story, and there are irreparable family rifts on the other side here, but yes - we rejoice. Always enjoyed your bro's company when he was here.

I'm sure that you will carry on in your lille welt of Djenne regardless - once you're back things will surely seem different again.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Good old Keita! Glad that you're friends with Anders again. Lovely photo. Looks beautiful, where you are. xx

8:51 PM  
Blogger mary said...

Families are important and well done to Keita for breaking the deadlock. Hopefully he can work a similar charm offensive in Mali. You will love it all again when you return and continue with your many enterprises. All that wonderful creativity with MaliMali, the manuscripts, the hotel and most important of all - the people.

10:02 AM  
Blogger David said...

Indeed, Mary - Keita for President! And I'm not joking...

11:34 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

Indeed, my Keita for President would be a fine thing and a huge improvement on the present Keita. He would sit in the shade of a big silk cotton tree and listen quiety to people's problems like an African chief of old. Then he would ponder for a while and come up with a wise answer. That is what he does now anyway...
And yes, you wise things you, too!Of course I will feel better once I am there again!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Sophie, what a heart-felt post! Thanks for sharing. Having been in Mali for sometime (thus also qualifying to be called an adopted African), would you care to share any of your insights about Mali for the website I am sorry to have published this as a comment, but could find no email to reach you on. Kind regards, Furaha F Asani

6:15 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Dear Furaha,
The site looks great- I would be happy to share something or write something- but meanwhile if you see a blog post that you like to use just let me know and you could put it up with a link to my blog?
my email is

9:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Sophie, I'm g;ad to hear you're interested in joining us! I have sent you an email :)

5:53 PM  
Blogger Andy Rayner said...

Keita is a wise man.... and you a wise lady for taking these steps. Hats off to you.

4:50 PM  

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