Baird Cancels Tour of Mali Due to PM’s Enforced Resignation

The Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada, John Baird, has cancelled his scheduled tour to Mali due to the actions of African nation’s ruling military junta, which enforced the country’s prime minister to resign on Tuesday. Mali, which was one of the most steady and lively countries of Africa, is now amidst turmoil after a revolution overthrew the democratically-elected government in March. Soon after, Islamic militants took charge of the northern half of the country.

One of the most recent bluster to Mali’s political stability was witnessed on Tuesday, when the Prime Minister, Cheick Modibo Diarra, was enforced to resign after being arrested while attempting to leave the country for France. Diarra was appointed as Prime Minister by the military in April after immense international pressure, though he did not really hold much power as junta was in charge.

Baird’s visit to the capital of Mali, Bamako, was going to be the first visit of any Canadian minister since the overthrow, but now eminently the situation on ground has worsened and become too tensed and erratic for the visit to take place. Baird urged in an official statement that military junta shall give up its authority and return to constitutional rule. He labeled Tuesday’s events as “a step backward and deeply troubling.” He alleged that “free and fair presidential elections and a resolution of the major security challenges in the country’s north are essential to re-establish stability.” Baird claims that “Canada supports international efforts to preserve Mali’s territorial integrity and combat extremism, but our suspension of bilateral aid will continue given the events of today.”

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