Mali opposition rejects Keita talks offer

Politics: Mali opposition rejects Keita talks offer

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 02:34 pm

Mali’s opposition has rejected an offer to meet with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in order to defuse a months-long political crisis.

Nigeria’s former-president Goodluck Jonathan, who is chief international mediator in the crisis, proposed the meeting before the scheduled end of his latest trip to the Sahel state on Thursday.

He had arrived Bamako on Monday, the eve of the latest day of massive anti-Keita protests. There were no major or reported violent incidents but Goodluck Jonathan’s visit after meeting with the government and the opposition, has yet again not yielded desired results. He had previously led a mediation mission to the country in July.

In a statement, the “June 5 Movement” said it could not meet the 75-year-old Keita while its “activists are subject to a manhunt by the regime’s repressive forces”.

Mali is in the grip of a deep political impasse between President Boubacar Keita and the June 5 movement.

Concerns that the Sahel state may slide into chaos and badly affect an already volatile region is prompting concerted mediation efforts from the 15 member regional bloc ECOWAS.

But the so-called “June 5 Movement” consisting of key opposition and religious leaders in the country have continued to reject ECOWAS proposals and insist on President Keita’s resignation.