The Malian president and the transitional prime minister, Bah Ndaw and Moctar Ouane, were taken under duress on Monday by soldiers to the Kati military camp, near Bamako. This apparent coup came after the formation of a new government.
Confused situation at Mali. A few hours after announcing the formation of a new government, Monday, May 24, Transitional Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and President Ban Ndaw were escorted by soldiers to the Kati military camp, near Bamako, according to several diplomatic and government sources.
“The president and the prime minister are here in Kati on matters concerning them,” said a senior military official. A government official, also speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of this information, confirmed that the heads of the transitional executive had been taken to Kati, the center of the Malian military apparatus. .
The Minister of Defense, Souleymane Doucoure, is also said to be on the military base.
This is where the president-elect Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was forcibly driven on August 18, 2020, By putschist colonels to announce his resignation. These are, it seems, the same colonels who are at thea maneuver nine months later.
Quiet in the capital Bamako
Bamako was buzzing with rumors that were difficult to confirm and international missions sent out messages of caution. The capital, which with Mali experienced its fourth coup on August 18, 2020 since independence, however presented an air of relative normality on Monday evening.
The colonels had installed transitional authorities after a few weeks, including a President Ban Ndaw – a retired soldier – and a government led by Moctar Ouane, a civilian, and had joined, reluctantly and under pressure from the community. international, to be returned power to civilians elected after 18 months, and not three years as they felt was necessary.
A newly announced new government
Faced with a growing political and social protest, the Prime Minister presented the resignation of his government ten days ago and was immediately reappointed by the transitional president Ndaw, with the mission of forming an openness team.
The great unknown was the place that would be given to the military, in particular to those close to the former junta, and concern has grown in recent days that the colonels are not satisfied with the choices of Moctar Ouane.
In the government announced by the transitional presidency, soldiers still hold the ministries of Defense, Security, Territorial Administration and National Reconciliation.
But, among the changes announced in a statement read on public radio and television, two members of the former junta, Colonels Sadio Camara and Modibo Kone, are leaving their respective Defense and Security portfolios. They were replaced respectively by General Souleymane Doucoure and by General Mamadou Lamine Ballo.
The new government also welcomes – for Education and Land Affairs – two ministers who are members of the Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD), the main political force of the June 5 Movement (M5), the collective which had animated the dispute which led to the overthrow of President Keïta.
For Bassirou Ben Doumbia, political analyst interviewed on the antenna of France 24, the events of Monday are linked to communication between the transitional government and the army. “The junta was not consulted during the resignation or during the reappointment of the Prime Minister, he explains. Today, during the establishment of the government, two emblematic figures” of the events of the summer 2020 have been ruled out, he adds. “The president of the transition bases the legitimacy of his power on the military, they are the ones who put him in power. The fact of not consulting them and removing certain heavyweights from the government may seem like a kind of betrayal of the military, ”concludes the analyst.
“The dismissal of the pillars of the coup is a major misconception,” a former Malian government official told Reuters. “These actions are surely intended to allow them to regain their posts,” he added.
We do not immediately know the precise objective of the army. A member of the military in Kati told Reuters it was not an arrest. “What they have done is not right,” said a source in reference to the reshuffle. “We let them know that decisions are going to be made.”
According to analyst Bassirou Ben Doumbia, the current crisis could have consequences on the security situation in Mali. “Mali is living a situation of exceptional security crisis, he declared on France 24. (…) If during this moment, those who were supposed to embody national defense are in power struggles, then there may be consequences on the effectiveness of military action in the fight against jihadism. “
Condemnation of the international community
The UN, major African organizations, France, the United States and others on Monday condemned the “attempted coup” underway in Mali and rejected in advance any fait accompli, including a possible forced resignation. transitional leaders arrested by the military.
In a joint statement, the UN mission in Mali (Minusma), the Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and the European Union “demand the immediate and unconditional release” of the President and the Prime Minister of transition arrested during the day with some of their collaborators.
Separately, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, in a tweet called for “calm” in Mali and the “unconditional release” of its civilian leaders, arrested during the day by the military. “I am deeply concerned by the information on the arrest of the civilian leaders responsible for the transition in Mali,” he added in his message.
Deeply concerned about the detention of civilian leaders of the Malian transition. I call for calm and their unconditional release. My Special Representative is working with ECOWAS, the AU and international actors supporting the ongoing political transition. https://t.co/82dIXDcAD4
– António Guterres (@antonioguterres) May 25, 2021
With AFP and Reuters