Unity needed in post-coup Mali

Aug. 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM
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HAVERFORD, Pa., Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A decision by the Malian president to appoint a former prime minister to form a new government is domestically controversial, an analyst said.

Interim President Dioncounda Traore appointed former Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra to form a new government. Susanna Wing, an expert on African affairs at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, told Voice of America that diversity was paramount in Mali.

"(Diarra) is a member of the political class (and) there are a lot of rifts in Mali right now among the members of the political class," she said. "There are many people who don't trust him."

Traore returned in late July to Mali from Paris, where he was recovering from wounds suffered during an attack by pro-coup demonstrators early this year.

In a national address, he stressed the importance of taking unified action regarding security concerns in the country.

Rebel military forces toppled the civilian government in Mali early this year, saying they were frustrated with insecurity in the north of the country. Rebel groups, some of which are aligned with al-Qaida, have declared autonomy for the north since the coup.

Members of the Economic Community of West African States have proposed military action to resolve crises in Mali.

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