Three Years After Coup Mali Still Recovering
Marking three years since the March 22, 2012, coup in Mali, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The 2012 coup was disastrous for political pluralism in Mali, infringing seriously on the political rights and civil liberties of Malian citizens,” said Vukasin Petrovic, regional director for Africa. “While the past three years have witnessed improvements in the political environment, Mali has a lot of work ahead if it is to regain its status as one of the region’s democracies.”
“Three years later, many of the underlying issues that caused the coup still need to be addressed,” said Oulie Keita, project director for Freedom House in Mali. “Efforts to achieve a durable peace should not be limited to negotiating with rebels, but should extend to re-establishing Malian citizens’ trust in their government and the democratic process.”
The 2012 coup opened the door for jihadists and rebels to seize control over most of Mali’s northern territory. In January 2013, France intervened to retake key northern towns and to train the Malian army. In August 2013, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was elected president.
After negotiations with rebels, the government signed a tentative accord on March 1, but rebel groups have so far to refused to accept it, maintaining it does not address underlying issues.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.