Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

Africa

Malians feel abandoned by national politicians

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-03-28

Two months after the liberation of the northern Malian city of Gao, residents say not a single major politician or political party official has visited the city raising concerns over the national rebuilding and reconciliation process.

It’s been more than two months since the northern Malian city of Gao was liberated in a French military offensive against jihadist fighters.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian paid a surprise visit earlier this month followed by the speaker of the French National Assembly, Claude Bartolone. Le Drian and Bartolone visited French soldiers stationed at a Malian airbase in Gao as part of Operation Serval, launched on January 11 to liberate northern Mali from a motley group of jihadists and Tuareg rebels.

But as residents of this city situated on the eastern bank of the Niger River are quick to note, not a single Malian politician of national stature has made the 1,000-kilometre trip from the capital of Bamako up to Gao.

Moussa, a Gao resident who owns a transportation company, echoes the sentiments of many when he accuses the country’s national politicians of cowardice – during and after the rebel occupation.

“We need to get rid of all of them”

"Since the first day of the occupation, we haven't even seen one political party come here to Gao,” said Moussa, who was a member of a major national political party before the occupation, but has since given up his party membership. “We need to get rid of all of them and rely on young people, the only ones capable of reviving Mali's political system."

As France prepares for a drawdown of troops from Mali, the country’s transitional authorities hope to hold elections by July. But few analysts believe this West African nation is ready to hold elections within four months.

"We have nothing. We can't provide for our bare necessities here in Gao,” said Moussa Boureima Yoro, a member of a local militia that banded together to try to patrol the city. “How can they ask us to go and vote? For who? And what for? It's clear we represent nothing in Malian politics. So we, alone, need to make our own destiny and transform this town."

Although Gao has been liberated by French troops, there have been sporadic attacks by Islamist militants in the city. Gao was the first Malian city to be attacked by a suicide bomber on February 8, a style of attack that was previously unknown in Mali and which has now been repeated in several other northern cities. The city has witnessed a number of attacks by extremists, who cross the Niger River and manage to infiltrate the city despite the presence of French and Malian troops.


Date created : 2013-03-28

  • FRANCE-MALI

    Al Qaeda says French hostage 'executed in Mali'

    Read more

  • FRANCE-MALI

    'The Malian administration has disappeared from Gao'

    Read more

  • FRANCE-MALI

    French Salafist captured waging jihad in Mali

    Read more

COMMENT(S)