After four months of transition since last summer’s coup, the West African Economic Community (Ecowas) checked Mali last week. The Ecowas has lifted the sanctions imposed on the country, but continues to insist that the CNSP, a military organization founded after the coup, is finally dissolved and a dialogue between all political parties begins. The delegation, headed by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, was particularly interested in the status of preparations for the presidential elections at the end of the transition period in 14 months.
The current head of state Bah N’Daw and his interim government are facing a strong wind. The “interim parliament” (CNT) appointed at the beginning of December is not fully functional even after more than a month. Last week, the head of the UN operation Minusma, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, reported to the UN Security Council that there was a “lack of consensus”. Behind this are conflicts with former leading politicians of the “marabouts”, the rich “elite” and “civil society” actors. This not only led to several strikes, but also to resignations, resignations and disagreements in the composition of the CNT, so that parliament was not yet able to vote on the government program.
The MDP movement, an alliance of citizens’ groups and various parties, including the Marxist SADI party, has withdrawn from the crumbling protest alliance M5-RFP. During the transition period, it tries to found local committees in as many cities and towns as possible, which, in addition to the transition roadmap, also demand the withdrawal of all foreign troops.
The budget deficit forecast by the International Monetary Fund for 2020/21 of up to 5.5 percent of GDP and the drastic “structural adjustment reforms” required for a bridging loan are likely to play a not insignificant role in the delays. The loan of almost 7.5 million euros granted by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa for measures against the Covid pandemic only diversifies the dependence on foreign donors who have been balancing the budget deficit for years.
Despite all the opposition, the government is by no means inactive. In the medium term, the landed loan of the French development agency AFD of 30 million euros could calm the widespread uproar. It benefits the drinking water supply in several cities in central Mali, which is shaken by bloody conflicts. There, as in the northern provinces, according to the plan drawn up by the National Council for the Reform of the Security Sector, the state administrative structures that have been orphaned for many years are to be rebuilt.
However, not only separatist Tuaregs, but also various jihadist groups continue to rely on guerrilla warfare. France is ruling out talks with the latter and is also relying on the military option. Even if Paris declared that it would reduce the French military presence in Mali, this is probably more a reaction to the negative criticism in Mali as well as at home: In France, 73 percent welcomed the military intervention in 2013, 51 percent are now against it, according to a report of Point of January 11th the IFOP institute determined.