'Mali Ko': Musicians Come Together in Mali to Sing Song of Peace

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Common Dreams

'Mali Ko': Musicians Come Together in Mali to Sing Song of Peace

'The only way out of this crisis is the way of peace.'

by
Jon Queally, staff writer

Musicians in the west African nation of Mali—now the scene of a military intervention by the French military with backing from the US—have come together with a message calling for a peaceful end to the violent conflict that has recently engulfed their country.

Recording of a new song, called 'Mali Ko' (meaning For Mali), took place in the capitol city of Bamako where many of the country's most accomplished musicians gathered just as the Malian Army, backed by French troops, escalated its fighting against Tuareg militias in the north of the country.

'What has become of beautiful Mali?" the song's lyrics ask.

"It is time for us artists to speak about our Mali. Malians, let us join hands because this country is not a country of war."

"What's happening in Mali? Dont forget that we are all of the same blood."

"The only way out of this crisis is the way of peace."

Organized by well-known female singer Fatoumata Diawara, more than 40 artists participated in the recording of Mali Ko, including Oumou Sangare, Bassekou Kouyate, Vieux Farka Toure, Djelimady Tounkara, Toumani Diabate, Khaira Arby, Kasse Mady Diabate, Baba Salah, Afel Bocoum, Tiken Jah, Amkoullel and Habib Koite and many others.

The Guardian reports:

Diawara launched the song at a press conference in Bamako on Thursday as the battle for control of the north of the country appeared to be drawing nearer to the capital.

"What is going on in Mali?" she sings. "Do we really want to kill each other? Do we really want to betray one another? Allow ourselves to be divided?"

Malian musicians are well known and admired throughout the world and Mali has hosted the now famous Festival in the Dessert  since 2001, attracting musicians and music-lovers from all over the world to experience and celebrate the culture's rich musical history.

Due to the internal violence this year, the concert and festival in Mali were cancelled, though organizers have plans to hold the festival 'in exile' until they can peacefully return.

Diawara, speaking to PRI's The World radio program, said recently: "“The Malian people look to us," referring to the country's musicians.

“They have lost hope in politics. But music has always brought hope in Mali," she said. "Music has always been strong and spiritual, and has had a very important role in the country, so when it comes to the current situation, people are looking up to musicians for a sense of direction.”

"Music has always been strong and spiritual, and has had a very important role in the country, so when it comes to the current situation, people are looking up to musicians for a sense of direction.”

The song comes as reports from humanitarian organizations say that a refugee crisis is worsening and regional experts warn that the conflict will likely have a deeply destabilizing effect in the western Saharan Sahel.

The translated lyrics of the song follow (via The Guardian):

Refrain 1 :
Il est temps que nous nous exprimions.
Il est temps que nous les artistes parlions du cœur. Notre Mali
THE TIME HAS COME FOR US TO SPEAK UP ABOUT THE CRISIS IN MALI; WE, THE ARTISTS MUST NOW SPEAK FROM THE HEART ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR MALI.

Haira Harby : 2
Maliens et Maliennes, donnons-nous la main car ce pays n'est pas un pays de guerre. MEN & WOMEN OF MALI, STAND TOGETHER ! OUR MALI NEVER WANTED A WAR.

Fatoumata Diawara : 3
Que se passe-t-il au Mali ? Paraît-il que nous sommes en train de nous entretuer, de nous trahir, de nous diviser. N'oublions pas que nous sommes tous du même sang (Rouge), de la même mère. Le jour que nous nous donnerons la main, le continent africain sera plus fort.
WHAT'S GOING ON IN MALI ?
DO WE REALLY WANT TO KILL EACH OTHER? DO WE REALLY WANT TO BETRAY ONE ANOTHER? ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE DIVIDED ? REMEMBER, WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF THE SAME MOTHER COUNTRY WHEN WE STAND TOGETHER, ALL OF AFRICA IS STRONGER

Amkoullel : 4
Mettons nous ensemble, Maliens, Maliennes pour être encore plus fort.
Maliens, Maliennes, unissons-nous pour être encore plus fort.
MEN & WOMEN OF MALI, LET US UNITE AND STAND STRONG!

Doussou Bakayoko : 5
Le Mali n'appartiendra pas à ces gens-là. Ce grand pays ne sera la proie de personne. OUR MALI WILL NEVER BELONG TO THOSE PEOPLE,
THIS GREAT NATION WILL NOT BE THEIR VICTIM.

Kasse Mady : 6
Montrons au monde entier que le Mali est un pays de paix.
Nous sommes tous du même père et de la même mère
WE'LL SHOW THE WORLD THAT OUR MALI IS A COUNTRY WHERE PEACE REIGNS. WE STAND TOGETHER, WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF THE SAME MOTHER COUNTRY

Sadio Sidibé : 7 Le Mali mon beau pays, qu'est-il devenu ?
WHAT HAS BECOME OF MY BEAUTIFUL MALI?

Baba Salah : 8
Tu as été le soleil qui a illuminé les 4 coins du monde. Notre Mali, sèche tes larmes, nous t'aimons!!!
ONCE YOU WERE THE SUN THAT SHONE 'ROUND THE WORLD. OUR MALI, WE ARE PROUD OF YOU -DRY YOUR TEARS! WE LOVE YOU !!!!

Refrain 1 : les artistes
Il est temps que nous nous exprimions.
Il est temps que nous les artistes parlions du cœur!!!! Notre Mali

THE TIME HAS COME FOR US TO SPEAK UP ABOUT THE CRISIS IN MALI ; WE, THE ARTISTS, MUST NOW SPEAK FROM THE HEART ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR MALI.

Soumaila Kanouté : 9
Je n'ai jamais vu de situation aussi désolante, de catastrophique. Ils veulent nous imposer la Charia. Allez leur dire que le Mali est indivisible mais aussi inchangeable!! NEVER HAVE I SEEN SUCH CATASTROPHE, SUCH DESOLATION. THEY WANT TO IMPOSE SHARIA LAW ON US. TELL THE NORTH THAT OUR MALI IS ONE NATION, INDIVISIBLE!!

Master Soumi : 10
Hier, le Mali est devenu comme un mégot de cigarette qu'on jette politiquement, on a tous pleuré, on s'est tous inquiété. Chaque jour, on attend que de mauvaises nouvelles, c'est déplorable. Il faut se ressaisir, peuple malien, sinon on sera la risée du monde.
OF LATE, OUR MALI HAS BEEN LIKE A POLITICAL CIGARETTE BUTT THROWN IN THE GUTTER. WE CRY, WE WORRY. EVERY DAY WE AWAIT ONLY MORE BAD NEWS, THIS CANNOT LAST! WE MUST REACT OR MALI WILL BECOME THE BUTT OF THE WORLD'S BAD JOKE

M'baou Tounkara : 11
Le Mali est un pays hospitalier et accueillant, la guerre nous fait perdre toutes nos valeurs et aussi beaucoup de temps.
OUR MALI IS A COUNTRY OF WARM WELCOME, WAR DEPRIVES US OF OUR VALUES. WE ARE LOSING TIME
Oumou Sangare : 12
Ecoutez-moi bien! Prenons garde, sinon, nos petits enfants n'apprendront pas la vraie histoire de notre Pays. On risque de le perdre.
LISTEN TO ME :
WE MUST TAKE CARE NOW, OR OUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER KNOW THE REAL STORY OF OUR COUNTRY. WE MIGHT LOSE IT.
CAREFUL NOW, OR OUR CHILDREN WILL SUFFER TOMORROW.

Koko Dembelé : 13
Tant qu'il y a de la vie, il y a de l'espoir. Enfants du Mali, levons-nous!!!
AS LONG AS WE LIVE, WE SHALL HAVE HOPE. RISE UP, CHILDREN OF MALI !

Babani Koné : 14
Je suis inquiète, j'ai peur. Nous sommes du même sang donc ne parlons pas de guerre. Quel avenir pour les femmes et les enfants dans ce pays ?
I AM TROUBLED, I AM AFRAID. WE ARE ALL OF THE SAME BLOOD SO LET US NOT SPEAK OF WAR. WHAT FUTURE CAN THERE BE FOR OUR WOMEN, FOR OUR CHILDREN IN THIS COUNTRY?

Afel Bocoum : 15 Le seul chemin de sortie de cette crise est le chemin de la paix.
THE ONLY WAY OUT OF THIS CRISIS IS THE WAY OF PEACE

Iba one : 16
Soyons unis, peuple malien, l'union fait la force. Arrêtons tous nos divergences, la guerre n'a jamais été une solution.
UNITE AS ONE, MALIANS ! UNION MAKES US STRONG. STOP FIGHTING EACH OTHER, WAR HAS NEVER BEEN A SOLUTION

Tiken Jah : 17
Mali, tous ensemble, Mali indivisible, Mali tous unis, la paix n'a pas de prix!!!
MALI UNITED, MALI INDIVISIBLE, MALI UNITED, MALI INDIVISIBLE. PEACE HAS NO PRICE!

Fati Kouyaté : 18
La guerre ne connaît ni femme, ni enfant, ni les personnes âgées. Cela ne nous ressemble pas!!!
WAR KNOWS NO CHILD, NO WOMAN, NO ELDER. OUR COUNTRY DOES NOT ACT LIKE THIS!

Kisto Dem : 19
Qui pouvait imaginer une telle situation au Mal i? Au moment où les Maliens pensaient à leur stabilité, d'autres cherchent à nous bouleverser. Dans le nord, la population a faim, nos femmes sont devenues des marchandises, elles sont battues et violées!!!!
WHO WOULD HAVE IMAGINED OUR COUNTRY THIS WAY? JUST AS WE MALIANS WERE REACHING STABILITY, OTHERS TRY TO DESTABILIZE US. IN THE NORTH, PEOPLE ARE STARVING, WOMEN ARE GOODS TO BE TRADED, THEY ARE BEATEN AND RAPED!

Nahawa Doumbia : 20
Nous ne voulons pas de guerre!!!! Non, pas chez nous!!!! Elle détruit tout sur son chemin.
WE DON'T WANT WAR !!!!! NOT IN OUR MALI!!!! WAR DESTROYS EVERYTHING IN ITS PATH.

Mamadou Diabate « 21 DG » : Maliba, comme l'a toujours appelé nos ancêtres, ne reste pas à genoux, relève toi et bat toi pour honorer les ancêtres
"MALIBA" AS OUR ANCESTORS ALWAYS CALLED YOU, DON'T STAY ON YOUR KNEES, RISE UP AND FIGHT FOR THE HONOUR OF THOSE ANCESTORS

Amadou et Mariam: 22
Ensemble, l'Afrique ne sera que plus forte !!!!! Avec plus d'avenir!
WHEN WE STAND TOGETHER AFRICA IS STRONGER .WHEN WE STAND UNITED WE HAVE A FUTURE!

Tamachek: 23 Le Mali notre grand pays, qui a été toujours un pays de paix et d'hospitalité, soyons unis.
MALI OUR GREAT COUNTRY, WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A LAND OF PEACE AND HOSPITALITY, LET US UNITE.

Oumou Sangare : 23
Faisons attention, pour ne pas perdre notre pays. Faites attention, sinon nos enfants et nos petits enfants ne pourront pas lever la tête. Je m'adresse aux politiciens et aux militaires !!!
WE MUST TAKE CARE, THAT WE DON'T LOSE OUR COUNTRY.TAKE CARE, OR OUR CHILDREN WILL HANG THEIR HEADS IN SHAME.

I'M TALKING TO YOU, MILITARY LEADERS!
I'M TALKING TO YOU, POLITICIANS !

Habib Koite : 24
Maliens, c'est l'union qui fait la force !!! Ne laissons pas notre grand pays nous échapper !!!! Terre des grands hommes !!!!
MALIANS, UNION MAKES US STRONG. WE CANNOT LET OUR GREAT COUNTRY SLIP THROUGH OUR FINGERS. OUR LAND OF GREAT MEN!

Djeneba Seck : 25
Maliens, Maliennes, le monde entier nous observe, unissons-nous pour retrouver notre stabilité dans l'harmonie.
MEN & WOMEN OF MALI, THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING. UNITE TO BRING BACK STABILITY AND HARMONY.

Vieux Farka Toure: 26
Réveillons-nous ! Nous sommes du même sang, donnons-nous la main.
WAKE UP!!! WE ARE ALL FAMILY, LET'S STAND TOGETHER

Mylmo : 27
On est si apprécié dans du monde entier, pourquoi s'entredéchirer devant ces mêmes personnes ? Soundjata Keita et les héros de notre pays nous ont légué des valeurs, ne les bafouons pas.
THE WORLD ADORED OUR COUNTRY, SO WHY NOW ARE WE TEARING EACH OTHER APART BEFORE THEIR VERY EYES? SOUNDJATA KEITA AND OUR OTHER HEROES OF LORE TAUGHT US OUR VALUES WHICH SHALL REMAIN STEADY.

Amadou et Mariam : 27 L'union fait la force!!! Donnons-nous la main!!!
UNION MAKES US STRONG!!!!! LET US STAND TOGETHER!!!

Amadou Bakayoko : 28
Dans l'entente, le pays peut se développer!! Personne ne viendra nous déstabiliser et nos enfants auront un avenir.
IN HARMONY, OUR COUNTRY CAN DEVELOP. NOBODY CAN DESTABILIZE US, OUR CHILDREN WILL HAVE A FUTURE.

Nahawa Doumbia: 28
On veut la paix, la paix.
En Afrique la paix ! Dans le monde entier la paix !
WE WANT PEACE,
PEACE PEACE IN AFRICA !
PEACE IN THE WORLD!

La paix, la paix
PEACE, PEACE

 

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