Mali’s interim president Dioncounda Traore finally returned home last Friday after seeking medical treatment in France for two months.
The Malian president suffered from injuries when he was beaten by protesters in May this year.
Reports say President Traore was in his own office on May 21 st when protesters stormed the presidential palace and attacked him.
The demonstrators who attacked the president were reportedly acting in support of the military group that had seized power in March.
At DC today, Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the United States welcomes the return of interim President Dioncounda Traore to Bamako.
Ms. Nuland notes that his return represents an important step in moving Mali back onto a path leading to the restoration of a freely elected democratic government.
According to Ms. Nuland, the United States supports the efforts of interim President Traore, interim Prime Minister Diarra, political parties and civil society to engage in an inclusive and broad-based political dialogue that will contribute to the early restoration of a popularly elected government and that is focused on creating a stable and prosperous future for the country.
The US government encourages all of the parties to draw on the Malian tradition of consensus, tolerance, and good will to form an effective unity government by July 31, 2012, Ms. Nuland said.
The move for political reconciliation can guide the country towards elections as soon as possible, but no later than April 2013, as called for by the Economic Community of West African States, Ms. Nuland added.
“We reiterate the call of the international community for the dissolution of the military-led National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy (CNRDRE) and call on its members to refrain from any interference in political matters and in the work of the transitional authorities.” -Ms. Nuland
The US government renews call on armed groups in northern Mali to renounce any connection with terrorist groups and enter into legitimate political negotiations on the basis of Mali’s territorial integrity.
In February this year, soldier mutineers launched a forcible seizure of power from the democratically-elected Government of Mali.
The Security Council called on the soldier mutineers to ensure the safety and security of all Malian officials and demands prompt release of those detained.
The mutineers announced the dissolution of the Government and seized control of the country.
In February this year, thousands of refugees fled to neighbouring countries to escape from recent outbreak of conflict in northern Mali.
UN reported that thousands of refugees have entered Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
Burkina Faso authorities has reported that 8,000 people have entered that country so far, many of them women and children.
The outbreak of conflict in northern Mali was caused by clashes between Government forces and Tuareg rebels.
Tuareg rebels launched a new rebellion in the north on 17th of January. Since then, troops have clashed with rebels in several northern towns.
Tuareg nomads are present throughout the Sahel region of Africa. Both Mali and Niger have battled Tuareg uprisings in the last decade