APRIL 30, 2024            PAUL MARTIAL

The France section of the African Solidarity for Democracy and Independence (SADI) party invited French left-wing organizations to an information and discussion meeting with its leader Omar Mariko on the situation in Mali.  A meeting deemed necessary by the leaders of SADI to prevent the French left from being duped by the anti-imperialist narrative used by the junta, which is only a simple veneer to justify its maintenance in power. Hence the need to review recent historical events that the country has experienced.

SADI considers that the jihadist insurgencies in Mali are above all linked to social problems. The majority of jihadist fighters come from the rural proletariat. Their motivation in this war is firstly determined by their social situation and the deterioration of security linked largely to the repressive actions of the State. The religious question accompanies the conflict by serving as justification and encouragement.

The crisis has deepened with land grabbing, particularly in the center of the country, by the Malian bourgeoisie, which has thus destabilized a regulatory system based on synergy between herders and farmers. This takeover of the land led to an increase in the poverty of farmers while herders had to pay more and more so that their animals could access pastures.

Also the question of opening a dialogue between jihadist fighters and representatives of the State was the solution to stop the war and adopt measures to consolidate peace. Especially since during the exploratory meetings which took place in 2014 and in which Omar Mariko participated, religious demands were never put forward. The dialogues could not be held because of the absolute opposition of France. She required the Malian authorities to cease all discussions for peace with the jihadists. While at the same time the French services engaged in negotiations with the Islamists with a view to freeing the hostages held by Al Qaeda groups.

The SADI leader insisted on how the junta came to power. The military used the great popular mobilizations against the corruption of the president at the time, Ibrahim Boubacar Ke├»ta, to usurp power by using part of the political class, part of the opposition coalition of the June 5 Movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP). This junta therefore cannot in any way be considered as developing from popular struggles. If it uses sovereigntist language it is to try to establish its legitimacy. The five putschist colonels are pursuing a policy which aims to create divisions within the country by designating the Tamasheq communities as enemies of the nation to distract the populations from military failures. This is how the capture of Kidal that was controlled by Tuareg organizations is presented as a victory for national sovereignty, even though it is above all a feat of arms by Wagner’s Russian mercenaries rather than an operation by the Malian armed forces. The result was that tens of thousands of civilians fled Kidal for fear of reprisals to take refuge near the Algerian border.

The junta is engaged in both a headlong security rush responsible for numerous abuses against civilians, and a dictatorship by suspending civil society organizations and political parties. The putschists engaged in legal proceedings aimed at banning the SADI party and its network of Kayira radio stations. Omar Mariko had to go into exile in view of the serious threats weighing on his physical integrity.

For the SADI party, the fight against the junta is part of a double mobilization against imperialism and against the local comprador bourgeoisie. An agenda in convergence with the positioning of the French socialists of the NPA which from the start of the crisis in Mali, spoke out against the French intervention Serval and its extension with Operation Barkhane, and demonstrates its full solidarity with all the activists and journalists who are victims of the repression of the colonels in Mali.

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