Mali’s Interim President to Address Fractured Nation

Posted July 29th, 2012 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Mali's interim president is expected to address his nation on Sunday night, two days after returning to a country steeped in unrest and political uncertainty.

The address will mark the first time President Dioncounda Traore speaks to Malians since being severely beaten by protesters two months ago.

After the attack, Mr. Traore flew to France for medical treatment. He returned to Bamako Friday evening.

Mr. Traore was given the task of returning the country to civilian rule following a March military coup.

Shortly after the coup, Tuareg separatists and Islamist militants seized northern Mali. And in recent weeks the al-Qaida-linked militants have solidified their power in the north.

In the south, there are concerns about unity and stability within the transitional government and claims the former junta is continuing to meddle in government affairs.

In an interview published on Sunday, the head of the West African regional group ECOWAS warns military intervention in Mali seems “inevitable.”

The French weekly Le Journal Du Dimanche quotes Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara saying if the situation does not turn around “quickly” there will be military intervention.

The Ivorian leader said the bloc is considering sending a contingent of 3,300 men. He said ECOWAS will soon file a request seeking approval from the United Nations Security Council.