Mali goes to polls on Sunday with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita seeking re-election in a country reeling from jihadist attacks. President Keita who is seeking a second five year term faces former finance minister Soumaila Cisse and about 20 other candidates in sunday’s election. Around eight million people in the landlocked west african nation are eligible for the vote.
But the country is suffering from jihadists attacks which have spread from the northern region to the centre and south. Mali also faces ethnic clashes and there are fears the insecurity could affect the polls.
A 2015 fragile peace deal which has the government, government-allied groups and former Tuareg rebels is in place. International mediators have expressed hope that the elections will strengthen the 2015 accord that Mali sees as its bedrock for peace.
Home to around 19 million people, drought and population increases are said to have led to food shortages, poverty and instability according to data from the world bank data. It says even though Mali has recorded growth of more than five percent for several years, youth unemployment is high.
Who ever wins in this election surely has a lot to do to bring Mali back and set it on a stable path.