On August 18, the military coup started in Mali. Gunfire was heard at an army base near Mali’s capital Bamako, while the military was taking control of government buildings in the capital. Also, soldiers took up arms in Kati, a town just outside of Bamako, and began arresting senior military officers.
The putschists demand the resignation of the country’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita that has reportedly fled to a local base of UN peacekeeping forces. There are reported that mutinying soldiers have detained President Keita, Prime Minister Cisse. Nonetheless, they are yet to be confirmed.
The national radio station ORTM was evacuated.
Several high-ranking politicians and officials were arrested, including the Minister of Finance Abdoulaye Daffe and the chief of staff of the National Guard.
Colonel Sadio Camara, Lieutenant Colonel Mama Seku Lelenta, Colonel Diaw, Brigadier General Cheick Fanta Mady Dembele are named among the leaders of the coup.
The ongoing developments in Mali are a direct threat to the already crumbling French influence in the region. The French foreign ministry condemned the mutiny “in the strongest terms” and urged the Mali military to return to barracks. Over 5,000 French troops are stationed across the Sahel region, including Mali, as a part of an ‘anti-terrorism operation’. In fact, this military group is mainly tasked with securing the French economic and political interets there.
Pro-French sources have been actively spreading speculations that Turkey supported the coup to undermine the French presence in Africa.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- More Details Emerge Of US Military Operations In Africa
- French Soldier Killed In Suicide Vehicle Attack In Mali