Honorable Dr. Christoph Hoffmann (MdB) for political talks in Bamako
Dr. Christoph Hoffmann, Member of the German Parliament (Bundestag) has visited Mali from 20-24th of September 2020. Dr. Hoffmann is the first German politician to visit the country after the Coup d’Etat on August 18th. As speaker for International Cooperation of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and member of the parliamentary commission for economic cooperation and development, Dr. Hoffmann follows closely the political developments in West-Africa. With the recent events in Mali, he saw the need for a personal fact finding mission that would allow him to better evaluate the political developments and get a more objective picture of the situation on the ground.
In the four days of his mission in Bamako, Dr. Hoffmann met with development organisations, groups of the Malian civil society, from the human rights sector and women associations, the UN led international stabilisation force as well as the West- African Economic Community (ECOWAS). His visit at the headquarters of the liberal partner party and largest parliamentary opposition, Union pour la République et la Démocratie (URD), was a highlight of his stay. Accompanied by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), Dr. Hoffmann met with the executive committee of the URD.
The discussions focused on the eventual liberation of the party’s president Soumaila Cissé as well as the URD’s role in the transition process. There was a general consensus that Mali needed liberal political solutions more urgently than ever. In this context Dr. Hoffmann highlighted the importance of Rule of Law and Transparency as cornerstones for a functioning state. Dr. Holden, the West Africa Director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation emphasized the important cooperation between FNF and URD and pledged continuous support for the URD. As the transition process will be of limited time, the URD will have to be prepared for those general elections that will eventually decide on a new president and parliament. This is a challenge but also a tremendous chance for the liberal cause in Mali.
In the course of his mission in Bamako Dr. Hoffmann also met with the Vice-President for West-Africa of the African Liberal Network (ALN), Mr Ousmane Ben Fana Traoré as well as with Ms Fatoumata Sako, from the liberal Malian Parti pour le Développement Economique et la Solidarité (PDES).