King Mohammed VI of Morocco mediates the crisis in Mali

The Alaouite monarch set in motion the diplomatic machinery to promote understanding in the African country
King Mohammed VI of Morocco

AP/MICHEL EULER  -   King Mohammed VI of Morocco

Violent clashes in Mali during last week's protests by the Malian opposition against the President of the Republic, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, continue to provoke reactions. The capital Bamako was the scene on 10 July of heavy clashes against the security forces which left dozens dead and hundreds injured (according to opposition figures) and this situation has not gone unnoticed by the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI.

The social unrest stems from the mismanagement of President Boubacar Keita, who is being called upon to resign, in the face of a situation of national political and economic crisis; it also has to do with the controversial electoral process in April which gave power to political groups akin to the Malian head of state and which was denounced as fraudulent. 

Following the international community's denunciation of this complicated situation in Mali, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, according to diplomatic sources, attempted "a secret mediation" between the influential Imam Mahmoud Dicko, one of the leaders of the opposition, and Ibrahim Boubacar Keita himself, according to media reports by Le Desk and Jeune Afrique. Other sources point out that the Moroccan ambassador in Bamako, Hassan Naciri, sent a message from the Alaouite monarch to Imam Dicko. It has also been noted that the Moroccan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, flew from Rabat to Mali with specific instructions from Mohamed VI to resolve the problem in the Malian country. 

El presidente de Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
PHOTO/REUTERS - The President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita

On this point, the head of state of Mali is required to "dissolve Parliament, form a transitional government with a prime minister designated by the opposition (replacing the present one, Boubou Cisse) and replace the nine members of the Constitutional Court", the body considered responsible for the electoral fraud of April.

In response, President Keita announced the dissolution of the Supreme Court and the organization of by-elections in areas where the results were invalidated by the Constitutional Court. 

The mediation of King Mohammed VI of Morocco has apparently borne fruit. As shown by the "calls for calm" currently being launched by Imam Dicko himself.

El imán maliense Mahmoud Dicko
AFP/MICHELE CATTANI - Malian Imam Mahmoud Dicko

The latest escalation of violence broke out on 10 July when the opposition coalition formed by the June 5th Movement and the Regrouping of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP) declared civil disobedience until the overthrow of President Boubacar Keita, among other demands.

The visible head of the Malian opposition is the Muslim Sheikh Mahmoud Dicko, but he has dissociated himself from the path of civil disobedience adopted by most of the opposition. Faced with the upsurge in violence, Dicko called for calm and asked for confrontations to be avoided, without giving up his determination to overthrow President Boubacar Keita's system. "I again call on Malian youth to show restraint and calm. We can really achieve all that we seek with patience and good manners. Avoid any kind of violence," the opposition leader stressed in statements to the French radio station RFI.