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Mali: Constitution to Be Reinstated

(Apr. 9, 2012) On April 1, 2012, Amadou Haya Sanogo, the de facto head of Mali since the military took control in a coup on March 22, announced that the country's 1992 Constitution will be reinstated. (La Constitution du Mali, Decret No. 92-0731 P-CTSP, Portant Promulgation de la Constitution, United Nations Public Administration Network website (last visited Apr. 2, 2012).) In addition, the military leader, who had appointed himself the leader of the National Committee for the Reestablishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State, the body now ruling Mali, has said he would reinstate public institutions and create a transitional government that would hold elections. (Mali Junta Leader Pledges to Cede Power, Rebels Advance, THE DAILY STAR (Apr. 2, 2012); Andrea Bottorff, Mali Coup Leader to Reinstate Constitution and Hold Elections, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST (Apr. 2, 2012).)

Sanogo's announcement was made one day before the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was scheduled to determine whether economic sanctions would be imposed on Mali, leading to speculation that the announcement was made too forestall ECOWAS action. (Bottorff, supra.) Furthermore, the National Committee had declared on March 29 that it would be implementing a new, recently drafted constitution. (Jennie Ryan, Mali Coup Leaders Draft New Constitution, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST (Mar. 29, 2012).)

Mali has experienced instability since January of this year, when rebels belonging to the Tuareg, a nomadic ethnic group found in a number of African nations, launched an attack on Mali's soldiers. (Bottorff, supra.) On April 6, Tuareg rebels, including the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA), a region in northern Mali, declared the establishment of the independent state of Azawad. Billal Ag Acherif, a former Libyan army colonel and the military leader of the NMLA, issued a statement explaining the drive for independence that referred to “the accumulation of more than 50 years of bad governance, of corruption and of military-political-financial collusion, endangering the existence of the people of Azawad and imperiling the stability of the sub-region and international peace.” (Rukmini Callimachi, Mali's Tuareg Rebels Declare Independence, THE JAKARTA POST (Apr. 6, 2012).)