Mali scraps Independence Day events amid violence
Mali, a West African nation that gained its independence from France on September 22, 1960, has decided to cancel the celebrations planned for the 63rd anniversary of this historic event.
The decision was announced by the transitional government led by Colonel Assimi Goita, who seized power in a coup last year.
Reasons for the cancellation
The government said that the funds allocated for the Independence Day festivities would be used to assist the victims and families of the recent attacks that have rocked the country.
In the past month, Mali has witnessed several deadly incidents, including a suicide bombing that targeted French troops in Gao, a jihadist ambush that killed 12 soldiers in Menaka, and a landmine explosion that killed 16 civilians in Mopti.
Implications for the transition
The cancellation of the Independence Day events comes at a time when Mali is facing pressure from regional and international partners to hold elections and restore civilian rule by February 2022. The junta has pledged to respect this deadline, but some observers doubt its commitment and fear that the security situation could worsen in the coming months.
The junta has also faced criticism for inviting Guinea’s coup leader, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, to attend last year’s military parade, which was seen as a sign of support for his overthrow of President Alpha Conde.
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