Monthly Archives: May 2012

Corruption is for everyone!

Maybe this is a good sign: For the first time in months, it’s been a slow news week in Bamako. President Dioncounda Traoré is still in Paris for medical treatment, junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo has not made a public … Continue reading

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Blessings and curses

The power went out in our neighborhood around 10:30 this morning — a noteworthy occurrence, since blackouts have become quite rare in the last month (though apparently the problems at EDM, the state electrical utility, are far from over). The … Continue reading

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The shamed and the shameless

After Monday’s chaotic events, God sent the rains Tuesday morning to cool Bamakois’ heads and calm their spirits. It started around 4 a.m. just as the first calls to fajiri prayer were ringing out across the city, and built quickly … Continue reading

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A deal, but will it stick?

By Sunday morning those of us in Bamako had all heard the news that broke late Saturday night: after weeks of deadlock, negotiators from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had reached an agreement with Mali’s CNRDRE junta, … Continue reading

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False passports, false hopes, and false flags

Here in Bamako we’re in waiting mode while negotiations drag on over who will be the country’s president during the transition period to new elections. The CNRDRE junta’s recent call for a “national convention” on the matter appears to have … Continue reading

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The problem with the political class

This past Monday Captain Amadou Sanogo, leader of Mali’s CNRDRE (the group most foreign media mistakenly label the “ex-junta”), announced that he had asked Mali’s prime minister to organize a “national convention” to choose a president to oversee the transition … Continue reading

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President Sanogo?

The preoccupation in Bamako lately is what will happen on Tuesday, May 22. That’s the day when Mali’s constitutionally mandated interim period ends, and the 40-day term of office of Dioncounda Traoré, the man who’s been serving as interim president, … Continue reading

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On teaching, and not teaching, in Bamako

I didn’t teach class yesterday. Normally I give a two-hour lecture on Friday afternoons, the sole weekly meeting of my “Anthropology and Development” course at Bamako’s Université des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines (ULSH). Then again, there’s been absolutely nothing … Continue reading

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Briefs for Wednesday, May 9: Afghanistan-on-the-Niger?

We are hearing more and more worrisome news from the north. Reports from both RFI and the Algerian press indicate that jihadis from Pakistan have been arriving in Timbuktu and Kidal to join forces with Al Qaeda in the Islamic … Continue reading

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Pushing all the right buttons

Mali’s strongman is a skillful communicator Since the coup d’état six weeks ago, Malians at home and abroad have been desperate to gauge the character and motivations of the men who carried it out. Starting in the early morning of … Continue reading

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