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MALI, SENEGAL, AND BURKINA FASO
MALI


Political Dynamics
An acting Prime Minister appointed Following the compulsory imposed medical rest of former Mali’s Prime Minister, Choguel Kokalla Maïga, a decree of the Malian Transition President made public on August 21st has put Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga, as the present acting Prime Minister. Colonel Abdoulaye Maïga who is also the Minister of Territorial Administration is expected to combine the functions of Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization with those of the Prime Minister [1].


Choguel Kokalla Maïga had been facing criticism for several months from his former allies of the June 5 Movement-Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP), before information about his health circulated, evoking a stroke and then hospitalization in a clinic in Bamako. Following the unending speculations on his health, he was forced by his doctor to rest after 14 months of tireless work. Also, various groups and his allies also sought his resignation and he is strongly contested by the Malian opposition gathered in the Framework for the Exchange of Political Parties for a Successful Transition which had requested a Prime Minister that is non-partisan, consensual, competent, honest and with a proven knowledge of the political, economic and security dynamics of the country.


Mali acknowledges the definitive departure of Barkhane The Malian Transitional Government has acknowledged the final withdrawal of the Barkhane Force and promised more success in the fight against terrorism [2].


Recalling that France had unilaterally decided on June 10, 2021, to withdraw the Barkhane force from Mali by adopting a timetable, without consultation with the Malian authorities to which it was bound by Defense Accords, the Malian authorities justified the departure of France. Thus, Mali’s demand for the immediate departure of France forces on February 18 2022 was on the grounds of the seriousness of the above-stated act by France.


Furthermore, the authorities noted that “the deterioration of the security situation in Mali and in the Sahel is an immediate consequence of the intervention of France and its allies in Libya”. Hence, with the departure of Barkhane and the rise in power of the valiant Malian Armed Forces (FAMa), more successes will be engaged against terrorist groups, the security of the populations will be considerably improved and the assets will not weaken.


The Transitional Government also reiterated “its readiness to cooperate with all the States of the world in order to curb the terrorist threat, provided that this relationship falls within the framework of the [3] principles guiding public action in Mali, defined by HE the President of the Transition, Head of State, Colonel Assimi Goïta, namely: respect for the sovereignty of Mali, compliance with the strategic choices made by Mali, the defense of the interests of Malians in the decisions taken”.
Updates on the 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali Negotiations for the peaceful release of the 49 Ivorian soldiers arrested in Mali on July 10th are ongoing. Interventions and mediations have been made by the Togolese president, ECOWAS, AU, UN and other notable dignitaries but without attaining the much expected happy ending.


Nevertheless, on August 24th, the interparliamentary committee of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) met in Abidjan and 2 This was noted in a press release by Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga consequently, sent a delegation to Côte d’Ivoire and Mali on the dispute arising from the arrest of 49 Ivorian soldiers in Mali [3]. The interparliamentary committee hopes to use parliamentary diplomacy in order to achieve a peaceful settlement of this dispute between the two countries. Will UEMOA succeed in attaining a happy ending between Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, without Cote d’Ivoire meeting the conditions set by Mali? It can be recalled that the 49 Ivorian soldiers were tried on August 15 and charged with “attempting to undermine state security” by the investigating judge of the Bamako Anti-Terrorism Unit.
Bilateral Cooperation between Mali and Iran The Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hossein Amir Habdollahian, accompanied by the Iranian Vice President of Trade, Industry of Mining and Agriculture and more than 30 Iranian businessmen were in Mali from August 22 to 23 on a working visit [4].

Meeting with Malian authorities, exchanges were on strengthening Mali’s cooperation with Iran in defence, security, higher education and scientific research, rural development, mines, energy and water, health, transport, infrastructure, industry, trade, housing, town planning, culture and tourism, communication and of the digital economy. The Iranian Vice President of Trade, Industry of Mining and Agriculture underlined Iran’s preparedness to also intervene in Mali in the fields of cotton and meat processing as well as in the supply of basic necessities. Mali is said to be first in livestock at the level of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) space and second in the ECOWAS space but without meat processing plants and milk factories. The Iranian-Malian cooperation may thus be a win-win project with a lot of economic benefits.

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