Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mali's interim leader sidelines PM Diarra

30 July 2012, 14:57

 Bamako - Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore sidelined his controversial prime minister Cheick Modibo Diarra on Sunday by announcing the creation of new bodies tasked with ending the crisis.

In a televised address to the nation, he announced he would be in charge of a High Council of State, lead talks for a unity government himself and create a committee to negotiate with the Islamists controlling Mali's north.

The High Council of State is designed to "complete the country's institutional architecture" and "adapt it to socio-political realities".

It will be made up of the interim president and two vice-presidents, one of whom will be in charge of defence and security and handling the four-month-old crisis in the north. The other will represent the various non-political forces in Mali.

Traore also announced a government of national unity, with consultations being led by himself and not by prime minister Diarra, who has been in the post since 17 April by who has come under fire by a broad front of political parties, unions and civil organisations.

A unity government has been demanded by west African neighbours who set a deadline of 31 July for its creation, otherwise sanctions would be imposed.

Traore said a "national negotiating committee" would be set up to "engage in peace talks so as to seek through dialogue negotiated solutions to the crisis" in the north.

Traore returned to Bamako on Friday amid tight security after a two-month stay in Paris for medical treatment after he was attacked by a mob in his office.

"I forgive my attackers," the 70-year-old said at Bamako airport after he landed in the west African nation, which is in a worse state of crisis than when he left it.

Difficult period

Armed, masked men kept watch on roofs to secure Traore's arrival, and he was greeted at the airport by Diarra.

Ex-junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, who led a 22 March coup which plunged the previously stable democracy into crisis, was also present.

"The Malian people are going through a very difficult period, starved for unity. I will apply myself to that," Traore said.

Traore said he was getting "better every day" after suffering a head injury when a mob of protesters against his appointment burst into his office on 21 May and beat him. He had been recovering in Paris ever since.

The interim president has a heavy workload awaiting him.

Hardline Islamists have strengthened their hold on the vast desert north of Mali, which they seized after the coup. The interim government which took over from the junta has proved powerless to deal with the occupation.

Diarra is trying to cobble together a wider unity government on the orders of mediators from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) regional bloc to deal with the mounting crisis.

Ecowas wants to send a 3 000-strong military force to Mali, but is waiting for United Nations approval and a formal request from Bamako from a more inclusive government.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...