Changes in Mali Worry Christian Radio Workers
08/26/2020 Mali (International Christian Concern) – On Tuesday, August 18, Mali’s military overthrew the central government led by then president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. After the bloodless coup was over, the top military leaders have held onto control of the country since the coup took place. They say that they plan to create a transitional government which will eventually lead to civilian led government. Despite this, talks this week ended in futility as the military leaders and opposition leaders could not come to an agreement on this new government.
Now it looks like the military may remain in control of the country for the next three years. The military junta agreed to turn over control of the former government leaders, who they have held since the coup. In exchange they want control of the country for the next three years. This moved followed the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) calling for his release, as well as the UN.
With the military taking control, radio broadcasters working for the Chritsian NGO, Trans World Radio (TWR), are concerned about their ability to continue their mission in Mali. Lauren Libby, who works for TWR, told Mission News Network that “With everyday life at a standstill, tensions run high. “Nobody knows what the political situation is, and the military is in control. All the airports are closed off. The borders are closed; the roads are closed. It’s an isolated situation right now, and a dangerous situation.”
The group lost several members back in 2015 during another hostile time. This has made them wary of this situation. Libby continued, “in a lot of these countries, the first thing whoever takes over [wants is] to control the media. That’s always a potential liability, particularly for believers who are running FM stations in Mali.” Please pray for TWR’s field workers in Mali, and for the rest of this society which is going through a tough time of uncertainty and transition.
For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: email@example.com.