Meet 25 year old Soldier who planned the Mali coup
The African Union, together with ECOWAS has condemned the arrest and forced resignation of Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Maiga, who had been detained by mutinous soldiers in a suspected coup after massive protests against corruption, insecurity, and French ties in the West African country.
25-year-old colonel Malick Diaw led the coup that overthrew Mali’s government in a twist of dramatic events – not so different from the Zimbabwean 2017 alleged coup.
It is reported that the mutinous soldiers – calling themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People – seized weapons from the armory in the garrison town of Kati and then advanced to the capital of Bamako where they stormed the presidential residence and took him into custody along with Prime Minister Boubou Cisse.
They appeared on state television in military attire, pledging to lead a civilian transitional government that will organize fresh elections and stabilize the country that “was facing insecurity” under Keita’s office.
Hours after the arrest of the President, – the African Union, the United States, and the regional bloc known as ECOWAS, which had been trying to mediate Mali’s political crisis, all condemned the development as constitutionally undemocratic and a threat to regional politics.
While the former colonizer France, whose presence in the country led to the June riots, and the United Nations, which has maintained a peacekeeping mission in Mali since 2013, also expressed alarm over the coup.
However, the majority of Malians who had taken to the streets in June met the developments with jubilation.
They went into a frenzy after a distressed Keita, wearing a mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic, announced his resignation with immediate effect and dissolved his government — three years before his final term was due to end.
“I wish no blood to be shed to keep me in power,” Keita said. “I have decided to step down from office,” he said as he was left with no choice but to give in to the people’s will.
Political upheaval is not new to Mali. It all began 8 years ago with almost the same coup taking over power from Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo.
Back in 2012, the mutiny erupted at the Kati military camp as rank-and-file soldiers began rioting and then broke into the camp’s armory. The dispute was between low-level underpaid soldiers with their bosses.
They took over the government under the leadership of Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo. He was then forced to hand over power to a civilian transitional government, which then organized the election Keita won.
Unfortunately, the period was a tragedy in the stability of the poor state. Islamic insurgents linked to Al-Qaeda took hold of power amid the power vacuum – and Mali has struggled to regain stability since.
The situation worsened under Keita whose government has been accused of massive corruption and blamed for the economic turmoil in the oil-rich country.
History has repeated itself again. Mali is for the third time in a row – within two decades, been under another coup leadership.