Mali’s youth left out of progress?


The West African nation of Mali has undergone an extraordinary transformation since 2012. Events have included a military coup, a foreign military operation to battle Islamist insurgents in the north and a presidential election; but, many young people in Mali who have lived through the turmoil are now asking, “What about us?” VOA’s Salem Solomon reports:

Observers think that even though events like the arrest of [a] media personality triggered demonstrations, the core issues are linked to governance and dissatisfaction with the peace agreement.

Kamissa Camara, a West and Central Africa political analyst and the senior program officer for Africa at the National Endowment for Democracy, said that youth in the north believe they played a critical role during the crisis of 2012, but were all but forgotten during the peace process.

“They were protecting communities from the rebels, from the jihadists,” she said. “And because they played such a huge role in stabilizing northern Mali, when the government of Mali signed a peace agreement with the rebels, the youth thought or felt that they were being put aside; they were sidelined by the agreement when they should have also been part of the peace benefits.”


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