Monday ,16 April , 2012, I was back to Mopti after two weeks stay in Bamako due to rebel attacks in northern Mali. Mopti having escaped the rebel occupation, many people who had fled in Bamako and in other places are coming back to Mopti. I found the market and the traffic a little bit animated. Shops, cyber cafes, restaurants and pharmacies are reopened. Gas stations are working; the gas prices which had doubled returned to normal.
Wetlands International Mali Office staff started working Monday. Some NGOs are already working and other NGO leaders with whom I discussed intend to start work very soon
Schools have also taken up but numbers of pupils have declined because many children have left and have been enrolled by their parents in other cities and villages (my kids stay in Bamako for the remaining time of the school year). Two schools housing the refugee population from the north haven’t yet reopened.
The big problem here in Mopti is the suspension of banking activities. In the occupied cities all banks were vandalized and looted; that’s why all the Mopti banks closed as a precautionary measure. To find a working bank, people have to go to San (200 km from Mopti) or Koutiala, Ségou or Bamako. Also the electricity providing is not regular but that doesn’t pose problem to me because I have my generator which works well.
There is an increased presence of the Malian army soldiers who took up positions all around the city with heavy weapons; they are also patrolling in the city night and day.
I called the Internet service of Orange to reinstall my connection Wednesday or Thursday because I had sent down the radio antenna to reach safety before going in Bamako. For now I am working with the Orange Key Internet which speed is low.
Despite the precarious situation, I am pleased to return to Mopti and restart my work. Although the war is not over yet, the hope of peace is coming back with the beginning of the negotiation between the Mali new interim President and Tuareg rebels. The salafists Malian branch leaders said they also willing to dialogue. The new consensus Prime Minister has been named today and we expect the establishment of the new government in the coming days.