Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta over the weekend launched an inclusive National Dialogue (DNI), in an attempt to fashion out non-military responses to the insecurity created by terrorist groups.
Mali since 2012 has been ravaged by violence perpetrated by insurgents who analysts say have been emboldened by the lack of security in parts of the country.
“I am delighted with the atmosphere created here so that both sides can exchange ideas, so that both can change each other and for us all to agree that diversity is our greatest wealth and unity our greatest interest,” the president said.
Leader of a women’s group Korotoum Ballo for her part said: “This dialogue will allow the Malian state to emerge from the deep crisis it has been in for quite some years now…
“… and we are pleading to all participants to give it their all and speak very sincerely about the country’s wounds to tell each other the truth with the greatest respect so that this country can experience lasting peace.”
Despite president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s quest to rally the nation behind the national dialogue, several opposition figures failed to show up, complicating efforts to find responses to the multifaceted crisis that has plagued the country.
Malian authorities are struggling to exercise control over large parts of the country which have fallen into the hands of terrorists who carry out deadly attacks on innocent Malians, despite the presence of 13,000 peacekeepers and 4,500 French soldiers.