What’s behind the sabre-rattling in Mali?

A few hours after the formation of a new government was announced in Mali, the head of state and the…

A few hours after the formation of a new government was announced in Mali, the head of state and the prime minister of the transition government were taken to the Kati military barracks by armed officers apparently as hostages, in what amounted to a putsch.By APA’s special correspondent Lemine Ould Salem

The hypothesis has been raised for a few days especially in Bamako, the nation’s capital. 

On Monday, May 24, it seemed to have taken shape or nearly so. 

The military who had unseated President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) last August, and formed a transitional government that was supposed to organize the return to a normal constitutional order, decided to take things into their own hands once again.

The announcement by Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane, of a new government to take over from the erstwhile cabinet dismissed ten days ago, apparently triggered what looks like a new military coup.

Given approval in the morning by the head of state, retired Colonel Bah Ndaw, who was appointed in September by the ruling junta, the new government no longer includes two major military figures: Colonels Sadio Camara and Modibo Kone, respectively Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs and Minister of Security and Civil Protection.

They were replaced in the new cabinet by Brigadier General Souleymane Doucoure and Major General Mamadou Lamine Ballo.

The former junta of the National Council for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), led by the vice-president of the transition, Colonel-Major Assimi Goita, did not take kindly to the removal of the two influential officers and proceeded to arrest the president of the transition and his prime minister.

According to several reliable Malian and foreign sources, the former coup leaders drove the two men to the Kati military camp, near Bamako.

Traditionally Kati is the epicenter of all coups in Mali.

After having demanded the immediate dismissal of the prime minister, the soldiers are said to have finally accepted a compromise.

Moctar Ouane would be reappointed as head of government, the two dismissed colonels returned to their posts and the dissolution of the new cabinet abandoned by the putschists.

A delegation from the Economic Community of West African States to which Mali is a member, is expected on Tuesday May 25, in an attempt to mediate a solution between the head of state and the coup plotters.

In the streets of Bamako, where this latest crisis to hit the state is widely commented on, life does not seem to have been disturbed. 

However foreign embassies have taken precautionary measures, advising their nationals to stay at home and be vigilant. 


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