Mali president inauguration a show of African unity
Mali's new President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. Leaders from Morocco to Gabon will cheer on the inauguration of Mali's new President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Thursday in a show of African unity as Mali enters a new era of democracy after months of political chaos. But in many ways the ceremony at the 55,000-seat March 26 Stadium in the capital Bamako will also hold significance for France — drawing a line under what has been viewed as one of the more successful foreign interventions by a Western power in recent decades.
"For many Malians and indeed for the international community the conduct of a violence-free election was always a far more desirable outcome than ensuring electoral due process and fairness and in this respect, the peaceful conclusion of the election was sufficient to label the whole exercise a 'success'," said Manji Cheto, a London-based analyst with the Africa Practice think-tank in a recent blog post. France's engagement in Mali, however, is more nuanced and less straightforward than a simple mission to free the former colony from the clutches of Islamism, and in many senses Thursday's ceremony marks a beginning rather than an end to French involvement.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Africa Review KenyaSimilar Stories