Mali celebrates its independence on Wednesday, proclaimed 61 years ago by Modibo Keïta, its first president. On Tuesday evening, on this occasion, Colonel Assimi Goïta spoke to the Malians in ORTM, state television. However, he remained more than sober in the two major issues that are shaking the country: the date of the future elections and the controversy surrounding the possible signing of an agreement with the Wagner group, a private Russian security company.
Validation of the transitional charter, installation of the CNT, second strike on 24 May to “correct” the transitional path, presentation of the government action plan for the current Prime Minister Choguel Maïga: The speech of the transitional president is above all, a progress report in the form of satisfaction of the documents taken since the coup on 18 August 2020.
On the security front, Colonel Assimi Goïta welcomes in particular the acquisition of aircraft and land vehicles for the army, as well as a new ‘proactive’ recruitment policy and the forthcoming opening of a war school.
The transition president also focused on the fight against “corruption, economic crime and impunity”, citing the ongoing scrutiny of public services as well as “vigorous action” taken by Malian justice. Measures worthy of two former ministers, Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga and Fily Sissoko, and of former head of the Special Counterterrorism Force Forsat, Divisional Commissioner Oumar Samaké, who is currently being prosecuted and imprisoned. Karim Keïta, son of the ousted president IBK, is also the subject of an international arrest warrant.
“Through this struggle, we assure the Malian people that their expectations will be met, as no privileges will be given to those involved. These measures also apply to the defense and security departments “, he assured.
Elections, Wagner … Transition leaders avoid sensitive issues In the elections that would mark the end of the transition, Colonel Assimi Goïta did not repeat his commitments on the dates originally planned and that ECOWAS, Union Africa, the United Nations or the European Union ask him to respect.
The interim president simply reiterated his desire, as a preliminary, to hold National Assises of Refundation “to stimulate real change in dynamism” and to set up a single body for the conduct of elections. Two projects that arouse the opposition of many political parties.
Nothing about the event either by agreement with the Wagner Group, except, at the end of the century, “thanks” to all the international forces in Mali. “But warns the president of the transition, their commitment to our side must obviously contribute to a lasting solution to security issues.”
The Transitional President of Mali also validated the appointment of 273 Knights of the National Order of Mali. Among those decorated are current ministers and former ministers for the transition but also senior officials, technical advisers, cabinet ministers or members of the CNT. The decree is signed by the president’s hand.