Military coup in Mali

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 August: 2020:

There are reports of a military coup in the troubled West African State of Mali, where soldiers are believed to have surrounded the residence of the country’s President – Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (Photo above). Some reports say that rebel troops have seized both President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse.

Soldiers were seen firing shots into the air in the capital, after months of demonstrations calling for the president’s resignation.

Keita, who was democratically elected, is believed to be sheltering at his private residence in Bamako’s Sebenikoro neighbourhood along with Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, who urged the soldiers to give up their rebellion and put the interests of the nation first.

According to report from Euronews, today’s escalation capped off a day of political chaos in Mali, where the UN and former colonial power – France have spent more than seven years trying to stabilize the country since a coup in 2012 allowed an Islamic insurgency to take hold of the West African nation. (Photo: President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita).

The unrest kicked off earlier in the day in the garrison town of Kati, where the previous coup originated under similar circumstances eight years ago.

The soldiers took weapons from the armoury and then detained senior military officers.

Anti-government protesters cheered the soldiers, some setting fire to a building that belongs to Mali’s justice minister.

Earlier in the day, government workers fled their offices as armed men began detaining officials including the country’s finance minister Abdoulaye Daffe.

EU Council’s president Charles Michel said that a “coup is never the solution to a crisis” as he commented on current developments in the African country. (Video below shows jubilating civilians as soldiers evacuate the President from his home. We apologise for the poor quality). 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Keita, while the US said it was concerned about the situation unfolding in Mali.

“The US opposes all unconstitutional changes of government whether in the streets or by security forces,” tweeted J. Peter Pham, the State Department’s special envoy for the Sahel region.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a political and economic union of 15 countries which has been mediating Mali’s political crisis, urged the soldiers to return immediately to their barracks in Kati, which is only 15 kilometres away from the presidential palace in the capital. (Photo: Prime Minister Boubou Cisse also held captive).

According to Euronews, today’s events resemble the leading up to the 2012 military coup, which unleashed years of chaos in Mali following a power vacuum that allowed Islamic extremists to seize control of northern towns.

A French-led military operation eventually ousted the jihadists, but they then regrouped and expanded their reach during Keita’s presidency.

President Keita has faced growing criticism over the handling of the relentless Islamic insurgency, which caused a wave of deadly attacks to the military in the north last year and prompted the government to close its most vulnerable outposts in an effort to stem the losses.

8 Comments

  1. Gentlemen – Sincerely,in today’s modern ever progressive world nothing justifies overthrowing a legitimate government – nothing! Answer – whats the point of having a democracy even in its most imperfect forms if every gun-toting lunatic thinks it is alright to brazenly create anarchy and chaos just to be able to grab the reins of power for selfish motives? Its an irresponsible attitude for someone,anyone to applaud violence over peaceful dialogue. Its quite clear to me that those lawless anarchists in Mali have now totally destabilized that poor struggling country for countless decades to come – no question,they’ve now jumped from frying pan into the sizzling fire of economic hardships – that is now their portion – that’s the new frightening traumatic experience citizens will now have to deal with on a daily basis,not to mention lack of adequate security for all.

    And to make matters worse,the most volatile attitudes of religious and tribal mistrusts now fully permeates the atmosphere like explosives waiting to detonate. Answer – how many leaders are you people aware of that have seized power unlawfully by force of arms that ended up gallantly transforming their countries into an ideal earthly Utopian paradise? I know not one of them! But vultures I have seen that polluted the earth with blood because of their lusts for power, only to reduce and diminish nations to dust and rubble when they were able to ascend wickedly on thrones of absolute power.

  2. History repeats itself. Those that failed to leran from their past mistakes, are more than capable of repeating themselves. Today, Mali is going through what the military did in 2012 under Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo. Back then the charge sheets against the then president Amadou Toumani Toure, was he’d neglected the war with Toureg affiliated Al Qiada Muslim terrorists in the North, that were fighting a jihadist war against the state. Roll forward to 2020, this time the popular uprising against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, was led by what you can only call the peoples revolt. They are fed up with the endemic corruption and cronyism.

    President Keita was elected on the promise to end the war in the North, but what he’d managed to do is to enrich himself, and those around. Indeed, one of the triggers of the uprising against his corrupt regime, was when his play boy son posted pictures of himself breaking bottle of champagne in a yath, while youngmen and women of the Mali military are fireing rounds of bullets against fanatical jihadist rebels defending the state of Mali. What a contrast. The coup plotters are just being opportunists, as they see a gap in tbe weakness of the president to drive home their message of how his corrupt and ineffective ways have abadoned the country to islamist rebels in the North. This coup needs to be contained in Mali lest it undermines the security of the ECOWAS subregion.

    In their last outing, in 2012 the Muslim rebels took advantage of the sicurity situation and almost over ran Bamako. The only thing that stood between them and the capital was the timely intervention of the French. Today there are more than fifteen thousand UN peace keepers in Mali. And the French have four thousand troops in the country. So my question for President Keita, why is your government blind to the security situation in your country? Instead of taking care of the war, you and your family members and Ministers are busy stealing from the state. More like the THE CHICKENS HAVE COME HOME TO ROOST.

    • If we discount the recent coups of the sudan and Mali, globally, since 1952, there has been 476 attempted, succeful and failed coups. Africa’s share of this figure stands at 205 attempted and failed coups. The highest in any continent. Out of these depressing figures, 105 failed attempts and 100 successful ones across the continent of Africa. The only other continent that come close to matching Africa’s figures is South America 94 attempts of which 40 were successful. Sierra-leone share is 10, Ghana 10, Nigeria 8, Benin 8, Guine Bissau 8 and many more others. The country with the highest coups in the African continent, is you guess it – Sudan. Their figure stands at 15 generally.

      Coups of any sort to effect change is not good for any country. Latin America was throughout out the 1960s,70s,and 80s in the grip of military dictatorship. Thank God these figures are going down since the 2000s. Though never justified, the perfect ingredients for miltray take overs is always the same. Lack of good governance, corruption, poverty, suppression of freedoms of individuals, and the free press.

      These men in military uniforms always claim to have the answers, but unfortunately they never do. The best they could do is to stay in the barracks. The politicians should also bear some responsibility. Becasue they create the perfect storm by initiating polices that are not good for a country’s development. May God bless Sierra-leone.

  3. Another NPRC JUNTA style cabal in Mali? Waiting to see if President Bio will CONDEMN the coup in Mali. God help, support and protect the people of Mali. TBC.

  4. The lesson is clear – if you’re head of state in Africa: If you have a persistent problem, particularly if it involves armed combat, do your best to solve it immediately or it may well lead to your demise. We saw it in Liberia, we saw it in Sierra Leone, we saw it in Ivory Coast and now Mali. The leader that now has to be careful is Paul Biya of Cameroon. The President of Mali should have bent over backwards to accommodate the rebels to save his job and his country. Now he is being told what to do by people who only a few hours earlier stood aside when he walked by and saluted him.

  5. Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently, and all for the same reason. I must admit that I haven’t been paying close attention to Mali’s political Affairs, but if this attempted coup was mandated by the vast majority of Mali’s population, then more power to them. They deserve better.

    Also, the UN and the European union seem to only concern themselves with African leaders who are in favor of their policies on the continent. Both these political bodies have always gone to the extreme to protect African despots who aligned themselves with the same interests as theirs. On the other hand it’s a totally different approach when it comes to leaders who want the best for their people, which ironically tend to go against theirs. But who’s to blame them though? They have a people to care for, ain’t it?

    • Succinctly stated honorable Kalokoh. Political leaders are elected to serve the people not only a selected few or outsiders. If a leader is unfit to meet these expectations, by all means, he/she must be booted out.

  6. Here we go – the same sad story resembling a broken record being played over and over again in its most shocking abstruse forms;How long will Africa remain cursed by a generation of people who consider chaos lawlessness and anarchy as legitimate means of attaining sustainable progress? Alpha and Omega,omnipotent merciful God another frightening hurricane has descended again in Mali,watch vigilantly over the innocent, elderly,young,disabled and poorest of the poor among us and keep them safe from harm.

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