Opposition group says Junta’s plan does not reflect people’s views
• The Junta’s plan not relevant to views of the people •
As Mali’s junta tried to hash out a political roadmap with West African leaders in Ghana on Tuesday, the 18-month transition plan agreed by the military just days ago is being contested in Bamako by the popular opposition protest group.
“A delegation from the junta went to Accra to negotiate and discuss the fate of Mali without involving the M5-RFP ( the 5 June Movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces opposition coalition),” said Dr Choguel Kokala Maiga, President of the M5-RFP strategic committee.
Mali’s popular opposition movement led the demonstrations against the ousted president Keita.
The military junta over the weekend adopted a “transition charter”.
It has yet to be published. But according to reports, it would provide an 18-month transition government, led by a president named by a committee set up by the military junta.
“The M5-RFP has distanced itself from the document produced, which does not reflect the views and decisions of the Malian people,” said Maiga.
The opposition group said in a statement it condemned the “intimidation, anti-democratic and unfair practices worthy of another era” and “distances itself from the resulting document which does not reflect the views and decisions of the Malian people.”
But said it did not intend to start a conflict with the junta and would work together to modify the charter.
• African Leaders Urge Swift Return of Political Reforms in Mali •
West African leaders urged a swift political solution in Mali on Tuesday, fearing an Islamist insurgency that has been nestled in the country since 2012 could take advantage of the fragile situation.
The 15-nation regional bloc known as ECOWAS met with Mali’s junta in Ghana. It had set the military chiefs a Tuesday deadline for naming a new civilian interim leader.
“The terrorists are taking advantage of the situation in Mali to flex their muscles even more,” said Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghanaian President and current rotating chair of ECOWAS.
“Today is supposed to be the day when the military junta in Mali is to put in place a government… That has not been done,” he said.
“The circumstances of life in Mali today require that closure be brought to the matter now. “
ECOWAS has also urged a return to democracy within a year.
But the junta, which grabbed power after a coup in August, said it would step down in 18 months.
After a similar coup in 2012, Islamic extremists took advantage of a power vacuum and grabbed control of major towns in northern Mali.
Only a 2013 military intervention led by former colonial power France pushed extremists from those cities and the international community has invested more than seven years into the fight against extremism there.