May God, they implore, “Give our leaders and all citizens the necessary wisdom and conscience to seek above all the common good.”
“May the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Mali, grant our Nation to continue its march in truth, harmony, prosperity, justice and peace,” the members of CEM further implore in their May 25 collective statement shared with ACI Africa.
Mali, a country with a population of 19.66 million people has reportedly experienced a surge in violence involving both civilians and the military since 2016, with more than 4,000 deaths reported in 2019 alone as compared to some 770 three years earlier.
Last year, the military ousted former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a move that was widely condemned. A caretaker administration was put in place tasked with overseeing an 18-month transition back to civilian rule.
Catholic Bishops in Mali described the August 2020 military coup as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.
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In an interview with ACI Africa last August, Bishop Dembélé said that the challenges the country was facing can be managed through dialogue.
“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa August 18.
The Malian Bishop urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”
He further urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty noting, “This dialogue must take into consideration our traditional African values that encourage justice and reconciliation.”
“Malians are true and faithful believers, Muslims or Christians alike; we must not forget that prayer is an effective weapon for forgiveness and reconciliation,” the President of CEM told ACI Africa last August.
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.