Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Hard Brexit, here we come: The blowback against globalisation (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Hard Brexit, here we come: UK to leave EU common market (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Pardon my whistleblower: Obama commutes Chelsea Manning sentence (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Pardon my whistleblower: Obama, security and surveillance (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

CAR citizens reluctantly leave makeshift camp

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: My French Film Festival, 'Stalin's Couch' and 'Birth of a Nation'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: On the ground with French troops in Mosul

Read more

FACE-OFF

2017 French presidential election: Can newcomer Macron win?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Davos 2017: WEF considers challenges for Paris Climate Agreement

Read more

Africa

Mali lifts months-long state of emergency

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-07-06

Mali on Saturday lifted the stage of emergency that had been imposed when a French-led offensive to drive out Islamist fighters began in January. The emergency measure has been lifted to allow campaigning for an election scheduled July 28.

Mali has lifted its state of emergency to allow campaigning for a presidential election being held on July 28 after a French-led offensive to drive Islamist militants from the West African country.

But attacks on U.N. peacekeepers in a former rebel stronghold on Saturday underlined the continuing insecurity in the Sahara Desert north.

The state of emergency, imposed when the French offensive began in January, was lifted at midnight (0000 GMT), army spokesman Captain Modibo Naman Traore said.

The emergency measure had given sweeping powers to the army and banned gatherings of more than 50 people.

“The military situation has now stabilised. Lifting the state of emergency will allow the candidates in the presidential election to campaign,” Traore said.

Some 28 candidates, including four former prime ministers, are standing in the election.

Experts and some Malian officials have expressed concern about holding the ballot so soon, saying the administration has been badly damaged, particularly in northern regions that were occupied by Islamists for 10 months. There are also concerns that hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the fighting might be unable to vote.

But diplomats say Western nations led by former colonial ruler France and the United States are pushing for the election date to be maintained because the interim administration is unable to tackle Mali’s problems.

One presidential candidate, former government peace negotiator Tiebile Drame, has called for a delay, warning that Mali is not ready and it could be heading towards chaos.

Drame pointed to continuing instability in Kidal, stronghold of the Tuareg separatists whose rebellion was hijacked by the Islamists. Mali signed a ceasefire with the Tuareg in June.

Two checkpoints manned by U.N. peacekeepers were attacked by unknown gunmen on Saturday, a spokesman for the U.N. force said. The U.N. force had repelled the simultaneous attacks, MINUSMA spokesman Olivier Salgado said.

Malian forces entered Kidal on Friday.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-07-06

  • MALI

    UN troops to take over from African forces in Mali

    Read more

  • MALI

    Mali reaches deal with Tuareg rebels

    Read more

  • MALI

    Malian troops launch assault on Tuareg rebel bastion

    Read more

COMMENT(S)