AllAfrica.com is reporting that Mali has scheduled elections for July 28, 2013. Mali has been in a state of turmoil since the ouster of President Amadou Toure in March 2012. After Toure’s ouster, the northern part of the country was taken over by Islamist militants leading to more chaos and confusion. While French-led forces have helped drive out some Islamist militants (Tuareg separatists are still in control of the key Northern city of Kidal), the fighting has led to hundreds of thousands of displaced Malians posing a serious problem for upcoming elections. The author writes:
“The U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday it will support voter registration efforts in camps for Malian refugees in Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania and Algeria. Mali’s current leader, interim President Dioncounda Traore, has said that neither he nor any member of his government will run in the presidential poll. Mali’s interim government says campaigning for the election will begin July 7 and end on July 26. If no candidate wins an absolute majority, a run-off vote will take place August 11. Western countries have made the stabilization of Mali a high priority because of fears the country could become a haven for terrorists.”
In December 2012, the United States sent troops to 35 African countries, including Mali, to stop the spread of terrorism. On May 15, 2013, international donors meeting in Europe pledged more than $4 billion for development and peace-building efforts in Mali.
Read more at AllAfrica.com.