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Helping affect Mali’s future

Since his appointment as Special Envoy to the Prime Minister of Mali, Cheick Modibo Diarra, Yeah has indeed been one busy man. Yeah’s main goal as he has met with representatives from Bahrain, the US and Mali has been one and that is to create a common understanding of Mali’s current situation and how the present government is planning on creating political stability.

Yeah met with the Ambassador of Mali to the United States in DC, Al Maamoun Baba Lamine Keita, sharing his insight into the Malian situation and the reasoning for the removal of the previous President ATT. They also discussed the need for increased collaboration and understanding between the U.S. and the new government in Mali in the hope of removing sanctions against Mali, so that aid could once again start flowing to the people that desperately need it.

Yeah also met with two members of the U.S. Senate. First, he met with Senator Michael Lee, a member of the subcommittee on African Affairs. Then, by recommendation of the U.S. Ambassador to Mali, Yeah also met with Gregory Simpkins, a staff member for the U.S. Congress and a prominent journalist in African Affairs.

In August, Yeah visited Bahrain which is home to the US 5th Naval base, where he was received by members of the royal family. His visit allowed him to inform Bahrain of Mali’s situation and the need of investment leading to the creation of a bilateral agreement between Mali and Bahrain. Upon return to Mali, Yeah extended an invitation to former U.S. Ambassador John Price, who has been very engaged in African politics.  Ambassador Price visited Mali from September 6th-12th.

Ambassador Price with Yeah

Ambassador Price’s visit was indeed an important one as it is important for people in the West to actually experience the situation in Mali rather than just read about it. Ambassador Price and Yeah got to meet with many key government officials in the defense, foreign and judicial sectors. Yeah was also able to secure a meeting with the man responsible for the mutiny back in March 2012, Captain Sanogo. You can read more about Ambassador Price’s opinion on this and other meetings on his blog: http://www.ambassadorjohnprice.com/captain-amadou-sanogo-a-hero-or-mutineer/2362/

Yeah and Ambassador Price also had the opportunity to visit the Malian refugee camp in Mentao, Burkina Faso. The visit will allow for a better foreign understanding of Mali’s actual situation and not as perceived by the media.

In Mentao, Burkina where we hope to distribute some aid soon

This past week has seen Mali put in a formal request for foreign troops from ECOWAS to come assist in the North. There seems to be a split opinion among Malians about whether ECOWAS troops are welcome on Malian soil. There has been a report stating that Sanogo and people close to him are against the decision by the President to invite foreign troops. The truth however is far from it, as Sanogo himself, appeared on national TV in an attempt to dispel these rumors. I guess time will show how the situation plays out. For now, there is no way for the Malian refugees to come back unless the North has been ridden of rebels. Each day there are fresh reports coming out that show atrocities in the North. Everyone is too afraid to go to that region and would rather desert everything for safety.

These past two and a half months have been busy as Yeah continues to reinforce the diplomacy and presence of Mali throughout the U.S. and other countries. The work is not over. It has barely begun and will continue until Mali once again is a democratic country.

We need your help. We cannot continue doing the things essential to restoring democracy without expending financial resources. If you can help support our work, then please help at http://www.samake2012.com. Mali deserves its chance at democracy and freedom.  

( Thank you to Liz Jessop for helping me write this post :))

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Past Posts

 

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Progress for Mali: A unity government is formed

These past few months has seen Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra’s government struggle to gain the support of other parties and political leaders who felt that they could do a better job. There has been a general feeling among the political class in Mali that Diarra is incompetent. The crisis that Diarra gained is one that cannot easily be solved. He may, however, be the one reason that this country has not collapsed further and seen more internal damage after the President was attacked by pro-coup supporters. Interim President Dioncounda reaffirmed his faith in the Prime Minister by calling on him to present his suggestions for the unity government.

Two days ago, in a step towards returning Mali to democracy, the new unity government was announced. The new government still includes PM Cheick Modibo Diarra but has been expanded to include 31 ministers, four of whom are women and five that are Captain Amadou Sanogo loyalists. The goal of this new unity government remains the same as before. First to regain the lost Northern territory and second to organize elections. The government formed is a mixture of different political parties and members of civil society. While there was an interim government in place led by PM Diarra, the political parties’ infighting caused much harm to possible progress. It is hoped that the unity government which will be accepted by the African Union will work towards regaining Mali’s North. Already talks are underway with ECOWAS to deploy a 3000-strong army to the Northern regions.

What does this mean for Mali? The one thing that stands clear through this whole occurrence starting with the coup, has been the Malian people’s desire for democracy to be restored. Just last week, there was a 50000 strong rally as people called for the unity government to be formed. The unity government is a positive step in the right direction. Let’s hope that they will be the force needed to regain the North.

Meanwhile, Yeah remains committed to continuing the fight to return Mali to democracy. Each week, his party PACP holds meetings. Attendance has grown since the coup. The meetings are a reinforcement that Malians want to be part of the political process and they want a leader that will not abuse power. PACP was called upon to offer its suggestions for ministers to serve in the unity government. Mali is on the right track. Now more than ever, we ask for your support

If you can support us as we continue this fight, please do so at http://www.samake2012.com. Every little bit helps us continue the meetings and rallies to keep the Malian people informed of their rights.

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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Past Posts

 

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