Seven UN peacekeepers were injured in an explosion when their convoy was hit by a bomb in central Mali, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said on Saturday.
So far, six incidents involving improvised explosive devices have been recorded in central Mali in 2023, according to the UN mission.
MINUSMA was established through an April 25, 2013 UN Security Council resolution. The mission is responsible for the protection of the civilian population, the observance of human rights and the creation of conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance.
The country’s military government that came to power as a result of the 2021 coup repeatedly confirmed its commitment to return civilian rule. Last week, Mali’s military leader validated the draft new constitution, announcing his plans to present it to the public.
Mali’s military commander Colonel Assimi Goita has met with the country’s politicians, religious leaders and civil society in a bid to promote the new draft constitution that provides for the establishment of civilian rule, media has reported.
During the meeting, he addressed the participants saying that from now on it is their responsibility to disseminate it [the draft] widely and explain it to the population.
He stressed that people all over the country, as well as Malians abroad, should be informed of the recent developments and progress in the constitution project.
This draft constitution is part of the transitional government’s reforms aimed at creating a legislative basis for establishing civilian authority in the country.
We must work together so that the Malian people, with full knowledge of the facts, take ownership of the draft constitution and adopt it by a large majority. We will then have taken a decisive step in the process of rebuilding our state, the colonel is quoted as saying.
Last week, the transitional government announced that Goita validated the draft constitution which was handed over by the committee responsible for its writing.
The new constitution reportedly stipulates that Mali is an independent, sovereign, unitary, indivisible, democratic, secular and social republic.
However, it was reported that religious leaders had previously rejected the constitution project. They opposed the notion of secularism, calling for the government to replace it with that of a multi-faith state.
Earlier this month, the referendum for its adoption, initially set for March 19, was postponed due to organizational issues with no specific details on a new date.
Authorities explained this decision by stating that they need time to establish representations of the election management body in all regions of the country. They also pointed at the problems of the distribution of new certificates containing bio-metric ID’s.
The government stated that the technical reasons which justified this slight postponement of the referendum, won’t affect the country’s 24-month transition to civilian rule.
The transitional military government came to power in Mali in May 2021 through a military coup. Last year, military leaders delayed elections, which are expected to mark the return of civilian rule, until 2026.
In response to this move, the West African ECOWAS bloc imposed economic and financial sanctions against Mali’s authorities.
The sanctions were highly criticized by the government and sparked waves of condemnation among the Malian people, who suffer the most from the restrictions.
However, they were lifted after the government announced a new election timetable in June last year with elections scheduled to be held in 2024.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.
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