Home Africa Mali Bans Political Party Activities As Calls For Elections Grow

Mali Bans Political Party Activities As Calls For Elections Grow

Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga appointed the new government spokesperson of the Mali government. (FILE PHOTO) Source: X

Mali’s junta have issued a decree banning political party activities and it has also issued a ban on all media coverage of the same. The country’s communication ministry issued a statement on Thursday “all media (radio, television, written press and online) to halt broadcast and publication of the activities of political parties and the activities of a political nature of associations.”

This followed an announcement on Wednesday evening when according to an Africa News report, Abdoulaye Maiga, the government spokesman of Mali, said the ban on political activities was made in the interest of “maintaining public order.”

Mali’s National Commission for Human Rights has expressed regret and profound concern over the decision in a statement published late on April 11. It warned the junta the decision could prove harmful.

“Instead of calming the social climate, these restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms could potentially stir up trouble and tension, which the country does not need,” it said.

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The decree comes after more than 80 political parties and civil groups issued a joint statement on 1 April calling for presidential elections “as soon as possible” and an end to military rule.

Mali has been ruled by a military junta since May 2021 when the Malian army captured and detained the president, prime minister and defence minister of the interim government. The head of the junta had promised elections but so far that has not happened.

Mali is just one of the countries in the Sahel region in West Africa that has experienced a coup. But the junta seems to have little answers to the big problems that beset the country. Growing violence  by militants have escalated especially after the France’s withdrawal of its forces in 2023, The collapse of a peace deal with Tuareg rebels in 2015 has made matters worse. Located in the north of the country, the Tuareg rebels want a separate state of Azawad for themselves.

(With inputs from Reuters)