';
×
× Digital News Videos Opinions Cartoons Education E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×
Mahmoud Dicko, the Muslim cleric who is seen as the driving force behind mass protests is pictured during the interview with Reuters at his house, in Bamako, Mali July 29, 2020.
The Muslim cleric seen as the driving force behind Mali’s protest movement said the country’s political crisis could be resolved without President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigning, offering a more moderate solution than other opposition leaders.

At least 14 protesters were killed earlier this month in demonstrations that have shaken the government since June and raised fears the instability could derail the fight against Islamist extremists in West Africa’s Sahel region.

Despite concessions from Keita and recommendations for moderate reforms by regional leaders, the M5-RFP coalition organising the protests said on Tuesday it wanted Keita gone and has called for more civil disobedience.

But influential preacher Mahmoud Dicko, who has led the protests even though he is not a coalition member, took a softer line in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.

SEE ALSO: KDF probes aircraft crash in Somalia after 10 soldiers injured

“I think we can find a solution without going as far as the resignation of the president. Aside from his resignation, there are lots of things that can be done,” he said.

Asked if he would be satisfied by the replacement of Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, who has been heavily criticised for his handling of the protests, Dicko said that change by itself would not resolve the crisis but could be part of a compromise.

Dicko’s speeches denouncing Keita’s governance have electrified protesters, and allies and detractors alike see him as the galvanizing force behind the demonstrations. Yet some of the president’s allies think he is open to compromise and believe the protests would collapse without him.

Tens of thousands of people have protested over contested local elections, perceived government corruption and incompetence. Police killings of protesters have further inflamed anger against Keita.

Despite his divergences with other protest leaders, Dicko, who has never publicly called for Keita’s resignation, denied there were tensions within the opposition.

SEE ALSO: Mali's opposition rejects West African leaders' plan to end deadlock

“There is no division. There is only a movement in which there are democrats who know that their differences are a strength,” he said.

Covid 19 Time Series

 


Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita Muslim cleric
Share this story

THE STANDARD INSIDER

Read More

Feedback