Mali junta suspends political parties


Mali military rulers

from RUDD KONTE in Bamako, Mali
Mali Bureau
BAMAKO, (CAJ News) – THE political crisis in Mali has taken a new twist after the transitional military government suspended political parties and associations.

Human rights groups have denounced the move, arguing it violates both Malian law and the rights to freedom of expression, association as well as assembly under international human rights law.

The suspension is “until further notice.”

The communications regulatory body (Haute autorité de la communication) directed all media to stop “broadcasting and publishing the activities” of political parties and associations.

The action appeared to be in response to the March 31 call by more than 80 political parties and associations for a return to constitutional order by holding presidential elections as soon as possible.

The military junta, which seized power in a coup in May 2021, had announced in September that the elections scheduled for March 26 would be delayed indefinitely for technical reasons.

“The Malian authorities apparently suspended all political parties and associations because they didn’t like their call to hold democratic elections,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi, senior Sahel researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Mali’s junta, like all governments, needs to respect human rights, and should immediately lift the suspension.”

Meanwhile, following months of renewed hostilities between separatist armed groups and Malian forces in the northern part of the country, Col. Assimi Goita, Mali’s military president, announced on December 31, 2023, the establishment of an “inter-Malian dialogue for peace and reconciliation.

This was aimed at eliminating “the roots of community and intercommunity conflicts” by prioritizing “national ownership of the peace process.”

In an April 10 news release, Col. Abdoulaye Maïga, the minister of territorial administration, claimed the suspension of political parties and associations was justified to ensure that the inter-Malian dialogue would take place in a climate of serenity.

A member of the political party, African Solidarity for Democracy and Independence, however argued the minister’s declaration had contradiction.

“Authorities are inviting people to the national dialogue, and at the same time are stripping them of their political clothes,” the official said.

– CAJ News

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