The June 5 Movement in Mali organized a demonstration in Independence Square in the capital, Bamako, on Friday, on the first anniversary of the protests against the government of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, calling for him to step down from power .
This comes at a time when the movement, which includes civil parties and associations, is awaiting the appointment of the head of its strategic committee, Shugel Maiga, as prime minister of the transitional government, after the movement’s agreement with the leader of the Transitional Military Council, Asimi Gueta, to grant a representative of the movement the position of prime minister in the new transitional government.
Maiga stressed that his country is committed to the international agreements it signed, and that the United Nations and French forces in Mali are helping the Malians to improve the conditions of the people, considering that “Mali is now witnessing reconciliation between the army and the people.”
Maiga added that the Malians should tell “the international community that the Malian people count on their understanding,” stressing that “sanctions and threats will only complicate the situation,” praising the French soldiers who were killed in Mali.
The World Bank and France
For its part, the World Bank said yesterday that it had temporarily suspended payments to operations in Mali after the military coup, in a step that increases pressure on the military leadership after France – the main ally – announced on Thursday the suspension of joint operations with Malian forces in order to pressure a return to civilian rule.
In a statement, the World Bank confirmed the suspension of payments, as the International Development Bank Foundation is currently financing projects worth $1.5 billion in Mali.
Earlier, the French Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the country intends to temporarily suspend joint military operations with Mali in the wake of the recent coup in the West African country.
A ministry statement said that both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union have set conditions and red lines to clarify the framework for action for the political transition in Mali.
“And pending the availability of these guarantees, France decided to suspend joint military operations with the Malian forces as a precautionary and temporary measure,” the statement added.
The African Union and ECOWAS suspended Mali’s membership, and called for the immediate appointment of a new civilian head of state, as well as a new transitional government composed of representatives of civil society and the military.
The ECOWAS said Mali must also commit to holding elections in February 2022, as scheduled, to return the former French colony to the path of democracy.
French President Emmanuel Macron said in the aftermath of the coup that he would consider withdrawing troops from Mali if he saw growing extremism trends.