Mali: for Oumar Mariko, "the outbreak of war comes from the military junta"

After renewed fighting in the north, eleven years after the 2012 civil war and eight years after the signing of a peace agreement, many Malian political parties of different sensitivities are expressing concern and calling for an attempt to save the peace. Among the political figures who speak out about this resumption of fighting in northern Mali, Oumar Mariko. The president of the Sadi party, in exile, exceptionally comes out of his reserve. Maintenance.

[File image] Oumar Mariko (right) during a political rally led by a coalition of 18 opposition parties on August 7, 2018 in Bamako. AFP - MICHELE CATTANI

By: David Baché


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Oumar Mariko is a long-time activist for Mali's sovereignty, who supported the 2012 military coup. The president of the Sadi party, in exile, this time blames the war on the transitional authorities. It calls for an end to fighting and dialogue to save the 2015 peace agreement.

RFI: Oumar Mariko, how do you analyse this resumption of fighting?

Oumar Mariko: With the various attacks, we are witnessing systematic carnage between the army and the forces of the former rebellion. On the other hand, we must not ignore the jihadist movement that benefits from it and continues its actions. And also the Wagner group, which also continues to massacre the civilian population. The question is: for what purposes and for what purpose?

Why did it come to this? And above all, is dialogue still possible with armed groups in the north?

The various successive regimes, from the signing of the National Pact to the Algiers Agreement, have put themselves in a position of half-peace, half-war, but in reality of latent war that has caused many deaths in the ranks of the army. And today, with the current junta managing the transition, war has been declared.

In my opinion, this war is harmful and unnecessary for the simple reason that the rebellion movement does not pose the problem of territorial integrity. However, the army is there to defend territorial integrity!

Given that the claim of territorial integrity is no longer appropriate – the same one that mobilized the entire Malian people against the rebellion movement [in 2012, Editor's note] – in my opinion, everything must be played out from a purely and simply political point of view. The transition should be able to allow the political management of this northern issue.

So the peace agreement is not buried and you think we can still come back to it?

It's hard to say. The appeal I can make, however, is simply to say that the armed forces, whether they are rebels, whether they are also regular army, must stop killing each other. Because these two armed forces are not responsible for starting the war. The outbreak of war comes from the military junta, and it is up to the junta to question itself and stop the process of war in which it has engaged an entire people.

These are the appeals you address to the fighting forces, the army and the CSP, as well as to the transitional authorities. What about the Malian people?

As for the Malian people, it is simply to say that today, there are many Malians who are asking for war, and there are many Malians who do not want war. And they are the most numerous! So let the peace camp give voice to impose peace on the military junta, which is responsible for starting this war, instead of a political solution to manage the demands of the CMA.

" READ ALSO Mali: after the resumption of fighting in the North, many political parties call for dialogue

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