September 15-21, 2014

Weekly Media Monitoring report for Mali
Posted on September 22, 2014

1. Mali Peace Talks
Privately owned media

“Crise malienne : Vers un retour à la case départ”, Bamako, in French, 15 Sep 2014

  • All the ingredients are now in place for a return to square one in solving the crisis in Mali.
  • Efforts, sacrifices and achievements secured through the Ouagadougou Agreement are melting like butter in the sun in the standoff that engages protagonists of the peace talks in Algiers. 
  • The six armed groups of northern Mali are unable to speak in a common voice. They are divided between those who want to talk about federalism and those who prefer to talk about autonomy. For its part, the Malian Government is ready to talk about regionalization. Neither side intends to make concessions. This does not augur anything good. 
  • This situation may exacerbate the positions of activists from both sides and awaken old demons.

“Négociations d’Alger : Les groups armés montent les enchères et exposent leurs divergences”, in French, 15 Sep 2014

  • 48 hours before the start of direct negotiations between the Malian Government and armed groups, Algiers was the site of a “coup de theatre.”
  • The coalition of Azawad movements, including MNLA, HCUA, MAA, dissident MAA, CPA and CM-FPR 2 signed a Memorandum of Understanding dated September 12, 2014, demanding for Mali to become a federal state.

“Pour protester contre la présence de la CM-FPR de Me Harouna Toureh non signataire du protocole divisant le Mali en deux entités : Les sécessionnistes refusent de participer aux travaux”, Bamako, in French, 16 Sep 2014

  • The negotiations between the Government of Mali and armed groups have been suspended.
  • The signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding dated September 13, 2014, demanding for Mali to become a federal state, slammed the door shortly after reading their speeches.
  • They were challenging more specifically the presence of the CM-FPR of Me Harouna Toureh, who refused to sign the MoU because it was violating the provisions contained in previous agreements as well as the Roadmap of July 2014.
  • The other armed groups claim that the CM-FPR has no right to sit at the table with them because it is not belligerent.
  • The articled noted that the CM-FPR of Me Harouna Toureh may rally the support of the loyalist MAA and GATIA in its efforts to support the unity of the country.

“Sortie de crise : Les pourparlers d’Alger suspendus hier”, in French, 17 Sep 2014

  • Yesterday, the direct talks between the Government of Mali and armed groups lasted about a few minutes because of the demands of the armed groups, which want to impose their agenda by securing a status for their regions before initiating negotiations on any other topic.

“Négociations de paix à Alger entre gouvernement et groupes armés : Les Bwa rejettent le fédéralisme, le régionalisme, l’autonomie et exigent une décentralisation poussée”, Bamako, in French, 17 Sep 2014

  • During a press conference held at the Djenne cultural space on September 15, 2014, leaders of the Bwa community expressed their concerns with the negotiations held in Algiers between the Government of Mali and Tuareg separatist groups and urged the Government to consider their community in the process. 
  • For members of the Bwa community, it is not time for the Government of Mali to address their concerns. They have rejected the federalism, regionalization and autonomy demanded by armed groups. They demand to the State a form of advanced decentralization as an alternative way out of the crisis.

“Pourparlers d’Alger : Des groups armés boycottent les négociations directes”, Bamako, in French, 17 Sep 2014

  • The Coordination of armed groups left the negotiation table on Monday September 15, 2014 to protest against the presence, at the negotiation table, of representatives from the CMF-PR, which was not a signatory of the Memorandum of Understanding of 12 September 2014 demanding for a federal state and limiting participants in the negotiations to only signatory groups.
  • Once again, on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, armed groups boycotted the negotiations for a second day in a row.
  • Negotiations have now stalled and armed groups have thus shown, once again, their bad faith in seeking a lasting peace in northern Mali.

“Crise au CPA : Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh renversé après son alliance avec le MNLA”, in French, 17 Sep 2014

  • Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh, a former senior official of the MNLA who launched his own armed group in March 2014, the CPA, was ousted of his position by his comrades for unilaterally following the lead of the MNLA and HCUA and signing the Memorandum of Understanding of 12 September 2014.
Social Media

ABDOU-AL-GAO, @Abdou_diarra, in French, 15 Sep 2014

  • If federation, it will not take two entities but more than a dozens… #Mali

IBRAHIM, @sysawane, in French, 15 Sep 2014

  • Ag Assaridi, MNLA spokesman, has confirmed that his movement, the MNLA, requires and demands federalism in Mail with two states living side by side

LEILA BERATTO, @LeilaBeratto, in French, 16 Sep 2014

  • This weekend, an agreement was signed between five armed groups. Tonight, two groups challenge the agreement in question. One excludes its leaders. #Mali

LEILA BERATTO, @LeilaBeratto, in French, 17 Sep 2014

  • The movements of north Mali that refused to negotiate reached an agreement. Negotiations begin tomorrow. #Negos #Mali

ABDOU-AL-GAO, @Abdou_diarra, in French, 17 Sep 2014

  • In Algiers, one drinks tea, stares at others, charms journalists, takes fresh air #Mali

ABDOU-AL-GAO, @Abdou_diarra, in French, 17 Sep 2014

  • Ag Assaleh was expelled from the CPA yesterday and today he expelled those who expelled him yesterday ... there is no doubt, they are Malians #Mali

2. Security situation in northern Mali: rebels and government force preparing for confrontations?
Privately owned media

“Les rebelles investissent Mopti et Tombouctou : Une attaque des rebelles près de Gossi fait des victimes”, in French, 15 Sep 2014

  • A group of rebels has attacked Fulani herdsmen in Bambara Maoundé, near Gossi, injuring seven people among the shepherds and taking away several heads of the cattle. 

“Pour conformer leurs positions à Alger : Les groupes armés veulent attaquer Tombouctou et Gao”, in French, 19 Sep 2014

  • After gaining control over Kidal, the MNLA, HCUA and MAA are trying to take over Timbuktu and Gao.
  • Taking advantage of the cease-fire, these armed groups are preparing attacks on Timbuktu and Gao and are working hard to weaken the Malian army present in the region.

IBRAHIM, @sysawane, in French, 17 Sep 2014

  • Inhabitants of #Gao are preparing for a massive demonstration tomorrow morning against the partition and federalism

ABDOU-AL-GAO, @Abdou_diarra, in French, 17 Sep 2014

  • 3 years now that some do not have access to schools in the north. #Mali

BABA AHMED, @Baba_A_, in French, 19 Sep 2014

  • #Mali: The military increased its presence in #Timbuktu while talks continue in Algiers on the legal and political status of the North

BABA AHMED, @Baba_A_, in French, 20 Sep 2014

  • #Mali: Due to the expected failures of the peace talks in Algiers, armed groups are organizing their forces near big cities in the North…

3. Sexual and gender-based violence in conflict: launching of a new project to support SGBV victims in Northern Mali.
State owned media

“Nord du Mali : Un projet novateur pour les femmes victimes de violences”, Bamako, in French, 16 Sep 2014

  • The project will enable people to be well informed on gender-based violence and on the development of holistic services to support victims.
  • The project was launched last Friday, on September 12, 2014.
  • Funded by Sweden and managed by UN Women, the project will be implemented in the regions of Segou, Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao, in partnership with six Malian and international organizations: GREFFA, FCI-Mali, AMPRODE Saher, GASS, ASG and ACORD.
  • This project is one of the answers to the implementation of 7-Point Action Plan of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on women’s participation in peacebuilding.
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