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International donors signed on the dotted line during a conference in Brussels aimed at supporting the development of Mali.

A pledge was made to contribute a little more than 3.25 million euros for the troubled country over the next two years.
The foreign minister of Mali, Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said: “We have a plan in 12 points, including the economy, infrastructure, and social services. We think that extremism and terrorism can only grow where there is ignorance and poverty. “

Ertharin Cousin of the World Food Programme expressed her concern as the money pledged so far is only a quarter of what the nation is looking for.
“The challenge is that there are 300,000 people who are still internally displaced from the north living in the south of Mali, there another in the 175000 living in the surrounding countries and today we are also feeding another 700,000 who are entire need of food assistance.”

The upcoming election is seen as essential to restore democratic rule after the military coup in 2012 that paved the way for Islamist rebels to seize control of the North.

Pascal Canfin, France’s Minister for Development, France stressed this was a central condition: “We really want the election to happen in July the official date is July 28. The financial commitment taken will help move towards democracy.”

Earlier in the week, Mali President Dioncounda Traore pledged that the July election would do ahead as planned.

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