Mali: A Hub Of Working Disagreements Or A Democratic State That Has Yet To Be?

From the Series: Mali, March 2012

Present day Mali speaks not only to the legendary Mali Empire but also celebrates secular civilizations predating the 7th century (Ballo et al 2002: 1-3). To date, documentary regimes represent Mali as a model nascent democracy that ordinary people around the world could hardly locate. Timbuktu has long signified Sub-Saharan desert geography as well as the human ecology of Mali for numerous readers of Lonely Planet and Le Routard. Yet, today, most global community members can now locate Mali by using Google Earth. Also, using global media and the daily print capital, people can not only watch the war on terror at the heart of the Sahel; but also retrieve the latest updates and minutes of the process of recovering the Malian territorial integrity and sovereignty (Kaba 2013: 7). Why is it that Mali is now in the midst of so much focused attention?

Mali is a sick giant ‘‘state’’ under a state of emergency. It is a situation that is producing images of an abnormal patient, oversized by pathological disorders and social anomie, which badly needs basic emergency medical care. News and press releases are now reporting that the situation of Mali is mobilizing timely support, albeit unusual from countries that not only share mutually a past and future presence, but that have yet to rout global terror. As a case in point, the national daily newspaper, L’Essor Quotidien Nationalreports that William Hague, the current British Minister of Foreign Affairs came to Mali recently to ensure that the British people are willing to reinforce the cost-effective support of the military campaign that is in progress to recover the national integrity and sovereignty in the northern part of Mali (Diarra 2013: 3). Clearly, it is not only the national integrity and sovereignty of Mali that has been jeopardized over the last two decades; but also the regional social and economic stability. On Monday, March 11th, 2013, L’Essor Quotidien National reported that the Netherlands is the leading state that is partaking in the funding efforts to stabilize socioeconomically Mali, (Djire 2013: 16).

Mali will be unable to display accurate statistics for or signs of democratic governance in the near future. Over the last three decades, Malian governance in praxis has produced a fabric of despotic power that has been using malice, corruption, lies, treason, global Islamic strife, transnational crime and cocaine trade, to further individual family projects. Although the rhetorical discourse from parent model-analysts is still rating Mali, as a model democratic state, (Bourgui 2013[1]; Rousselier[2]. 2013; Wikileaks[3]); Mali has yet to build a real democratic civil society in a mushrooming political environment that is displaying a fictive political landscape marked by ‘‘the territories’’ of a single party that is disintegrating. There are more than 140 registered[4] political parties in Mali. To date any regional general attorney[5] is a legate that can by instant gratification ‘‘earn’’ ten million CFA and make a herd of cattle numbering a hundred individuals in five minutes, just sitting in an armchair. Mali can no more equate past and present institutional accountability and envision a better democratic future with democratic elections that are being called by diplomatic missions of countries that have been experiencing democracy for over two centuries. It is a situation that not only displays a fragment of a total subtext that has yet to be explored; but that also drives into an untenable cul-de-sac of working disagreements. Clearly, the detailed history of the painful situation is disturbing and a search for long-term remedy will take many years and the engagement of an informed global community to help Mali build a functional and productive democracy. However, Mali and its many peoples must be the prime movers in this process. Alas, this has yet to be the case.

Sekou Berte, University of Bamako and Mali Cultural Heritage Agency (APCM-SARL).


[1] Bourgui, Albert. 11/03/2013.Le délitement des institutions maliennes.


[3] May 13, 2012

[4] Répertoire des Partis Politiques. 2011

[5] Bamako,March 15, 2013. Kunta. Unclassified Source


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