"THE MARCH OF DEMOCRACY ON THE CONTINENT MUST CONTINUE."
Interview: Modibo SIDIBÉ, President of the political party FARE An Ka Wuli
Modibo SIDIBÉ, former Prime Minister of Mali under Amadou Toumani Touré. The future of Mali, peace, stability, security and development are his concerns. He is now President of the Alternative Forces for Renewal and Emergence (FARE- An Ka Wuli). He brings here his perspective on the political and security situation in Mali.
This is the first time that Mali has a president and a vice-president at its head. A first in the history of independent Mali. Retired Colonel-Major and former Minister of Defence, Bah N'Daw, becomes President of the transition, and his younger brother of about 30 years, Colonel Assimi Goïta, President of the CNSP, becomes its Vice-President. A compromise that balances the balance of power between the CNSP and ECOWAS in a deteriorated security context.
54 ÉTATS: Modibo Sidibé, you had the ideal profile for this transition; what do you think of former Defense Minister Bah N'Daw's appointment as (official) transitional president by the junta? And what do you think of this compromise that seems to balance the balance of power between the CNSP and ECOWAS?
Modibo SIDIBÉ: I wonder if this is the way to approach this issue. What does this mean for Mali? Why have we come to a transition. Who should make this transition? These are, in my view, the most important questions.
We fought within the M5 Movement and not just the patriotic forces in the face of completely erratic governance.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, the former Prime Minister and his government had no vision, no program to deal with Mali in crisis, with its multiple dimensions, its complexity. A Mali that has seen the security situation deteriorate.
The population has suffered and insecurity has set in.
The M5 Movement ended with the intervention of the military on August 18.
We have been waiting a long time for a successful political transition. A transition that would allow Mali to reform its democracy, to have a real vision, to legitimize its state, to be able to create a horizon in order to evolve in a restored Mali. A country capable of playing its role in the subregion to the fullest.
What seems important to us is to be able, with ECOWAS, to emerge from the lack of understanding of the forms of a classic coup d'état, of a classic transition, in order to understand that the questions of time and why are paramount, if we want Mali to overcome this structural void, which has so far affected it so much.
I refuse to talk about a balance of power with Cedeao. It is more a question of the importance of having a transition architecture that is oriented towards the re-foundation of our country
54 ÉTATS: What is becoming of this citizen revolution that marched on June 5 and July 19, calling for a renewal of governance, a renewal of democracy?
Modibo SIDIBÉ: The citizens' movement that developed was aimed at conquering this democracy, at conquering a renewal of trust between the State and the citizens. If we don't weave other forms of relationship between governments and the governed, I am afraid that our development and our democracy will constantly be taken hostage.
There is no inevitability that Mali will give itself peaceful alternatives.
The M5's fight was aimed at opening the country to another phase of our democracy, calling for a much more renewed governance, and one that is in tune with what is happening in Africa, where here and there there there is a call for respect for citizen values. A struggle in phase with the movements born in various African countries where young people have begun by carrying very high this need for democracy.
54 ÉTATS: Yes. The Arab Spring
The resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his regime was simply to stop the spiral in which Mali found itself
The resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his regime was simply to stop the spiral in which Mali found itself and to set in motion a process of recovery in Mali that involves dialogue and endogenous discussions on security and the economy. The aim was to respond to a common project linked to ecological, demographic, health and youth issues. This youth which is confronted with many problems.
In addition, this change at the head of power should allow the country to get out of the infernal cycle of poverty, insecurity, a growth today that does not allow to create employment and which throws into the waters of the Mediterranean Sea so many young Malians, so many young Africans.
54 ÉTATS: Do you believe that the transitional president, Bah Ndaw, and the Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane, together will be able to create a security dynamic?
Modibo SIDIBÉ: When you talk about the security dynamics of the transitional president, the transitional vice-president or the transitional prime minister, we don't mean the same thing.
Today, the transition must be based on a "process foundation" that allows all Malians to design the project in which they want to see their country progress.
Once again, I will not associate the security dynamic with the transition, but I will put the people back at the heart of the transition. Physical, food, health and social security, etc. And in another time, in the medium term, carry out all the structural reforms that the country needs to recover. Raising its economic model and its environment. This is a dynamic of resurgence, with a structural background that should make it possible to move towards the "new Mali" that the June 5 Movement, the M5, is calling for.
Let me remind you that we have 1.24 million km2.
We need to rethink our geography, to put it back at the heart of the political cycle, through a consensual, predictable, equitable land use planning that allows every citizen, for having participated in it, to know that he or she is a stakeholder in all the infrastructures that will develop in his or her country.
54 ÉTATS: A comment on the embargo imposed the day after the overthrow of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on August 18 and which has "terribly affected" merchants who have been deprived for the past month of financial exchanges with their neighbors in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Modibo SIDIBÉ: Since the appointment Sunday of diplomat Moctar Ouane as Prime Minister, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is expected on the lifting of sanctions against Mali. These sanctions are weighing on the Malian economy. Mali is a very important state in West Africa.
Mali is not a hinterland or sub-country of ECOWAS
We have potential. We have economic flows. We have transformations to implement in relation to our wealth.
I would like to add that the Sahel, like Mali, needs development. Also, we must take into account another space which is the Sahara. It is in this regional and transregional framework that we must address the issues of resolving the crisis in the Sahel. A crisis that is both economic and security.
Mali needs to develop its territory, as well as the Sahelian area
I repeat, Mali needs to develop its territory, the Sahelian space too. Between these two zones, the Sahara and the Sahel, we need bridges where we can develop the economy that would protect our entire region from terrorist excesses.
54 ÉTATS: The presence of French and UN soldiers in Mali for the past seven years is disputed by part of the population. However, Colonel Assimi Goïta said on the occasion of the National Day: "We ask the Malian population to support the armed defense and security forces. And it is also an opportunity for me to ask the population to support our partners, with the Barkhane force, the Minusma, the G5 force, the Takouba force. ». Modibo Sidibé, should France stay in Mali?
Modibo SIDIBÉ: We have a historical relationship with France. The first construction of defense and security is the Solid Forces of the Malian Army (FAMa), which must be reformed. This simply means that we fear an atmosphere in which we can work towards security in the sub-region, but with the firm conviction that the agenda we are going to draw up is the same agenda in which the international community will support us.
The constitution of these Armed and Security Forces must be based on the construction of our States. They are strong States, solid States, relegated States with a different governance. They are capable of supporting national and cooperative efforts to safeguard security and development throughout the subregion.
54 ÉTATS: Are you in favor of cooperation with countries such as Russia or Turkey, which have recently been very aggressive on the continent?
Modibo SIDIBÉ: Let me remind you that cooperation with Russia (formerly Soviet Russia) dates back more than 50 years. Mali has the freedom to choose its cooperation, within the framework of building a better defense system.
More than 50 years of cooperation with Russia
Make it more operational to adapt it to the efforts of asymmetric warfare. Mali will choose what suits it best to improve its security system. This in no way precludes partnerships with France for convergent, shared interests and with mutual respect for the sovereignty of each State. Mali must assert itself in the management of its security problems.
Mali must assert itself in the management of its security problems
Today, we cannot be in tied and compartmentalized partnerships with other countries. Let's privilege open partnerships.
54 ÉTATS: Mr. Sidibé, do you aspire, after the transition, to become President of the Republic of Mali?
Modibo SIDIBÉ: We had proposed a project entitled "Mali, Horizon 2030".
The richness of Mali, the richness of the continent, is its youth
He must be given the opportunity to express himself. He must be given the opportunity to be autonomous. He must be given the opportunity to work and to work, to be educated, to be trained in his country and to want to stay there. This is the Mali we want!
A plural Mali, a solid Mali, which gives us modernity in its identity without being in an identity retreat
I hope that we will make the Sahel return to what it used to be. Namely: a convivial space of solidarity and tolerance.
54 ÉTATS: An important issue. A number of heads of state cling to power, run for third terms, change the constitution at will. What do you think of this since you are committed to democracy?
Modibo SIDIBÉ: Cedeao will inevitably look at its approach to democracy, starting with the Malian crisis and other crises.
54 ÉTATS: In Guinea, the opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo invited Cedeao to ask the outgoing president, Alpha Condé, not to run again. A comment?
Modibo SIDIBÉ: The opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo is perfectly in his role.
54 ÉTATS: What about Ivory Coast?
Modibo SIDIBÉ: I'm not going to single out one country or another. We are concerned about everything that happens in all these countries. Democracy cannot be satisfied with endlessly reshuffling the Constitution.
The march of democracy on the continent must continue
The march of democracy on the continent must continue and cannot be satisfied with the manipulation of institutions and texts.