For independent bodies of the popular masses to lead the struggle! For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly now!
Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (Nigerian Section of the RCIT) and Revolutionary Socialist League (Sympathizing RCIT Section in Kenya), 21 August 2020, http://www.revolutionarysocialistvanguard.WordPress.com
Amidst intense mass pressure followed by a military coup the government of, now ex-president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and, ex-prime minister, Boubou Cisse have been forced to relinquish power and the parliament totally dissolved in the early hours of Wednesday, 19th August, 2020, yet the restive situation in Mali is far from over. The Malian people have suffered decades long economic hardship, political instability and armed insurgency all of which have claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Malians. Like all African nations, Mali has never truly been free from imperialist subjugation that has essentially rendered the nation one of the worst kind of neo-colonies in the world. For one thing, the 'former' colonial master of the country, France, is still very much around and leads a sizeable 15,600 troops in MINUSMA, which is the 2nd largest UN sanctioned peace keeping mission in the world (!). This is without mentioning the influence of other imperialists in the country.
These forces pose as counter weights to terrorism and as agents of stability but in the real sense they form part of the main enemy of the people as they reap humongous profits from keeping Mali and other neo-colonial nations underdeveloped. These military interventions also prevent the influx of African refugees into Europe through the Mediterranean. Little wonder all the imperialist rulers from France through Germany with the European Union (EU); Eastern global and regional powers like China and Turkey; the US and the United Nations have contested the ousting of Keita and Cisse. The same reaction was given by the comprador stooges of these hegemons in Africa as we see condemnations of the ouster from Nigeria to South Africa; from Angola to Algeria. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) have both suspended Mali and have closed all borders with Mali and blocked air flights to the country.
We do not endorse military coups as a productive tactic for the mass struggle especially considering the fact that the history of Mali is replete with coups and counter coups since 1968, eight years after the country gained formal independence from France in 1960. However taking into account the concrete and immediate situation in Mali, the coup occurred due to a mass uprising that was sparked by election padding which resulted in emergence of Keita's Rassemblement pour le Mali party and its allies as the parliamentary majority in April. Even though the leaders of this mass uprising include the M5-RFP coalition – a bourgeois alliance of various forces like the thirty-party Front for Safeguarding Democracy (FDS); and beyond the parliamentary elections, the mass uprising occurs within the context of a global revolutionary period birthed by a historic crises in the global capitalist economy and the capitalist setting as a whole.
Thus, the struggle in Mali is part of the fright shaking the heart of the capitalist order. We support the popular desire to get rid of Keita and his government and don’t waste a tear for his detainment by the rebellious soldiers. We also oppose all forms of sanctions and blockades against Mali by the AU and ECOWAS. Yet, we must strongly warn that the battle is far from over. It is a known fact that the history of coups on the African continent can be summarized as a vicious cycle of rising and falling anti-people and neo-liberal governments who are mere servants of imperialism. The Malian people must not repeat the mistakes of history by allowing power to be sustained in the hands of military cliques neither should the masses leave the streets as suggested by the National Committee for the Salvation of the People.
Rather we call on the Malian masses to form action councils and self-defense guards at work places, neighborhoods, universities and villages. These councils in any discussion with the coup leaders must hold the intransigent position of forming a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly instead of new rounds of bourgeois elections which will only replace the same interests of capitalist exploitation with different faces. Members of this Revolutionary Constituent Assembly must be elected by the public; they must receive the wages of an average skilled worker and they must be subject to recall at any instant by the people. This Assembly will be saddled with piloting the affairs of the Malian people for a pro-masses future.
Brothers and sisters have no trust in any politician/opposition party trust only your strength. Out with all imperialist occupation forces in the Sahel! Down with Operation Barkane! For a people's militia now!
We reaffirm the global significance of the insurrection in Mali and its importance in the African liberation struggle, hence all progressive and revolutionary forces in West Africa and beyond must boycott the sanctions and blockade placed on Mali at this time. We call for a unification, based on international workers solidarity, of the uprising in Mali with the popular uprising in Belarus, Lebanon, Hong-Kong, Palestine and the US.
For a free socialist Mali!
Long live the struggle for African liberation!
Long live international socialism!