Mali’s caretaker President Dioncounda Traore, in his speech at the closing of the 20th African Union summit hosted in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, shunned claims that the current conflict in north Mali is a "crusade against Islam".
He asked on Monday those talking about such a crusade: "Where were they when Islamists were engaged in what might be considered as an new holocaust, when they were chopping off the arms of our youth, smashing down their the TV screens and earphones in humiliation, decreeing football as unlawful according to Islam?"
"Now they are transforming our fight for freedom, dignity and peace into a Western proxy war against hopeless Muslims," he added.
He continued "why no one heard their voices when Mali, a Muslim country by 95% needed the solidarity and support of its Muslim brothers."
"Don’t tell us that those who are currently giving lessons didn’t hear the cries of little Aicha threatened with weapons and raped. Tell us where they were the day when a young couple was stoned, accused of adultery."
Dioncounda Traore who was applauded by his peers and summit delegates went on to ask: "Where were those voices when Malian soldiers’ throats were cut off in Aguel Hock a year ago?"
"Those lessons givers failed to utter a word when Malian people were compelled to trod on down the roads of exile, desolation and misery," he said, observing that "Mali is a peaceful, tolerant country which does not deserve such unfair treatment all the more since it has profoundly suffered terrorist yoke, its women raped and humiliated."
Tradore pointed out that Mali was waging a war against rampant terrorism funded by the money cashed in on the reprehensible practice of hostage taking and drug smuggling.
"We are engaged in a battle against obscurantism and for human existence. We are fighting the project of cultural backwardness in a country which is an African vanguard in terms of human civilization," he indicated.
Those who perpetrated such brutalities in Mali according to Traore have no right to call themselves Muslims, for "Prophet Muhamed (SAW) had not even once humiliated, killed or forced anybody into Islam no matter how powerful he may have been."
He also warned against the "ethnicization" of what he calls the "fake jihad", the trend of building unsuspected terrorist networks in some cities and facial discrimination which might trigger further abuses and retaliation.
The interim head of State ensured the Malian government will not accept any such violence and that an investigation will be conducted in a move to hold perpetrators to account.
Source African Press Agency
African News from NetNewsPublisher.com