Connect with us

News

Profile: Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Mali’s overthrown president | Mali News

Published

on


Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was forced to resign as Malian president after being detained on Tuesday in a coup launched by mutinous troops, has long relied on his reputation as a firm leader to project command over the country.

But the man who won election in a landslide in 2013 and was re-elected five years later was left flailing by  inter-ethnic violence that has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

Slow reforms, a crumbling economy and decrepit public services and schools, along with a widely shared perception of government corruption, also fed anti-Keita sentiment, sparking large protests in the capital, Bamako, in the past months demanding his resignation. 

The 75-year-old was until this week able to shrug off criticism from a divided opposition, partly relying on support from the international community, which has seen him as a bulwark against the threat of armed groups.

But the coronavirus pandemic and the kidnapping of opposition leader Soumaila Cisse by armed fighters in March made severe inroads into Keita’s standing.

Mali’s president resigns amid military mutiny

The son of a civil servant, Keita was born in the southern industrial city of Koutiala, the declining heartland of cotton production.

He was educated at Lycee Askia-Mohamed in Bamako and Paris’s Sorbonne University, and holds degrees in history, political science and international relations.

After completing his studies, Keita worked as a researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (known in French as Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – CNRS), a public organisation under the responsibility of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

Keita returned to Mali in 1986 and worked as a technical consultant for the European Development Fund, launching the first small-scale development programme for the European Union’s aid activities in Mali.

Political activities

A founding member of the ADEMA party, historically Mali’s largest, Keita befriended Alpha Oumar Konare, who was elected president after Moussa Traore, Mali’s former president, was toppled in a 1991 military coup.

Konare then promoted him steadily from ambassador to Ivory Coast, to foreign minister and ultimately prime minister.

As a socialist prime minister between 1994 and 2000, Keita quelled a series of crippling strikes which earned him the reputation of a strong politician.

Keita quit ADEMA to found his own party, finishing third in the 2002 presidential election won by Amadou Toumani Toure, the president who was toppled a decade later in a military coup.

He withdrew his RPM party from a coalition opposed to the military government in May 2012, saying that the handling of the Mali crisis had infringed upon national sovereignty.

A nationalist with a popular touch, Keita avoided strongly criticising the leaders of the March 2012 coup which overthrew Toure, amid widespread frustration at his government’s corruption and failure to tackle poverty.

Mali president, prime minister arrested in apparent coup

In 2013, Keita pledged to restore Mali’s honour as a model for democracy in West Africa as he campaigned as a unifying figure in his fractured country, pledging “zero tolerance” for corruption – echoing the words of coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo.

He went on to win a landslide election, defeating Cisse and finally ascending to the presidency after losing runs in 2002 and 2007.

In 2018, Keita was re-elected to serve a second five-year term after beating Cisse again in a runoff vote despite opposition claims of voting irregularities.

Cisse, who was kidnapped in late March by unidentified gunmen while campaigning in the country’s volatile north and has not been heard from since, has criticised Keita for not addressing Mali’s rising insecurity.

Mali has struggled to regain stability since 2012, when ethnic Tuareg rebels and loosely aligned armed groups seized the northern two-thirds of the country, leading former colonial power France to intervene to temporarily beat them back.

Ethnic killings and armed forces’ abuses have become a defining feature of Keita’s presidency, despite thousands of French and international troops deployed to contain the armed groups.

Mali coup: Soldiers promise to hold new elections

Resignation

Keita announced his resignation with immediate effect in the early hours of Wednesday morning, hours after being detained by military officers in a dramatic escalation of the country’s months-long political crisis.

Opposition supporters had been protesting in the streets of Bamako since early June, calling for Keita to resign following disputed parliamentary elections in which the president’s party came out as the largest bloc.

In his address on state television, Keita said the government and Mali’s national assembly would be dissolved.

“I would like at this precise moment, while thanking the Malian people for their support throughout these long years and the warmth of their affection, to tell you of my decision to relinquish my duties,” Keita said, before adding he had no choice but to resign.

“If it pleased certain elements of our military to decide this should end with their intervention, do I really have a choice?” he said of the day’s events.

“[I must] submit to it because I don’t want any bloodshed.”

In a televised statement later on Wednesday, the soldiers behind the coup that drew widespread international condemnation pledged to restore stability and oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” period.

There was no word, however, on the future of Keita



Source – www.aljazeera.com

News

Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

Published

on

Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

Continue Reading

News

2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

Published

on

By


A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

Continue Reading

News

Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

Published

on

By


Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

Continue Reading

Trending