Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Is Boris Johnson Britain's most undiplomatic chief diplomat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Paris pollution: 'Tomorrow we stop breathing'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Greece hands out Christmas bonuses

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

New HIV vaccine under trial in South Africa

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Vote count under way in Ghana after tight presidential poll

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon: Several killed in clashes with police in Anglophone region

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Polish Christmas video goes viral

Read more

THE DEBATE

Power to the People? Battle over Brexit and Parliamentary Democracy (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Power to the People? Battle over Brexit and Parliamentary Democracy (part 2)

Read more

Africa

Mali’s president returns home two months after attack

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-07-28

Mali's interim president flew into Bamako on Friday after a two-month medical stay in Paris. Dioncounda Traoré (photo) was severely beaten by dissidents supporting a March coup, which sparked an ongoing crisis that has seen the country split in two.

AP - Mali’s interim president returned home Friday, two months after seeking medical treatment in France when he was badly beaten by protesters who back a coup leader hanging onto power.

Dioncounda Traore became the country’s president in April after the soldiers behind a March coup agreed in principle to hand over power to an interim civilian government. The coup leader, though, has shown no signs of leaving.

In May, his supporters broke through a security cordon and attacked Traore in his office. He was brought unconscious to a hospital, and demonstrators were seen hoisting his bloody tie and shoe in celebration.

The protesters are believed to have been aided by soldiers loyal to the military junta that grabbed power in March and who are unhappy by the transition back to a civilian-led government.

Many Malians believed that Traore would not return to the western African nation after being so gravely wounded.

“I think Dioncounda Traore is brave to make the decision to come back,” said Binta Sangare, a student at the University of Bamako. “In reality, though, I don’t like him as a transitional president, but if he is the way out of this crisis, we don’t really have a choice.”

Traore, the former head of Mali’s national assembly, is a seen as a close ally of the president who was ousted by coup leader Capt. Amadou Sanogo.

Although the March coup reversed two decades of democracy in Mali, many have expressed support for the military takeover because of frustration with the previous regime, which was seen as inept and corrupt.

After the coup, ethnic Tuareg rebels seeking secession took control of the country’s north - an area larger than France - but were driven out in June by the Islamists vowing to introduce an ultra-strict interpretation of Islamic law known as Shariah.

Earlier this week, the regional bloc known as ECOWAS said it had secured Mali’s consent to go ahead with plans for a 3,000-soldier military intervention to help take back the troubled north. Among other things, it is also aimed at improving security, though the plan still awaits U.N. Security Council approval.

“You’ll all remember what happened in the past when the interim president was assaulted, so those kinds of issues will not occur once we have a standby force in place in Mali,” Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, ECOWAS commissioner for political affairs, said Thursday.

French President Francois Hollande also said this week that he was hopeful for Mali’s future.

“I know President Traore will return to his own country and do the indispensable work of reconciliation,'' Hollande said.

Date created : 2012-07-27

  • MALI

    African Union denounces Mali ex-junta's 'interference'

    Read more

  • MALI

    Mali PM to seek alliance to win back rebel north

    Read more

COMMENT(S)