Malians must “do violence to themselves” and “drive out the demons of division,” Mali opposition moral figure Imam Mahmoud Dicko said on Friday on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid al. -Adha, while efforts to resolve the political crisis in Mali stalled.
“Everyone in this country must do violence on oneself, must have an overcoming of oneself, so that hearts come together, so that we can really build our country together in peace, prosperity and quietude”, declared to the presses the influential religious leader, after leading the prayer in his mosque in Bamako and sacrificing a sheep, as tradition dictates during this feast, the most important in the Muslim calendar.
“It is a civic duty and a religious duty for everyone. It is an ardent wish that I express. I think that, Inch ‘Allah (God willing, editor’s note), the Malian people will know how to have the necessary resources to drive out the demons of division, of discord, in our country and that hearts come together so that we have a stable Mali in peace and quiet, “added Imam Dicko.
The 66-year-old cleric is the key figure in the unprecedented protest movement of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, known as “IBK” which has emerged in recent months and which has raised concerns among neighbors of Mali, the epicenter of the jihadist threat in the Sahel, may the country sink into chaos.
After calling to vote for Mr. Keïta in 2013, Imam Dicko has moved away to the point of becoming the bête noire of the Head of State, who suspects him of wanting to make Mali an Islamic republic.
The influential imam is blowing hot and cold on the crisis exit plan adopted by the West African states of the ECOWAS at a virtual summit last Monday.
Unlike the opposition movement M5-RFP, a motley coalition of religious leaders, opponents and members of civil society to which he is close without being formally part of it, Mahmoud Dicko is not calling for the resignation of the head of state.
But he rejected the outstretched hand of Prime Minister Boubou Cissé, who asked him to use his influence so that the opposition would join him in a government of national unity, one of the essential recommendations of the ECOWAS.
During a tête-à-tête Tuesday, Mahmoud Dicko on the contrary asked Boubou Cissé to “resign” so that a “real government of national unity” could be formed.