Tag Archives: Mali coup

Mali junta crushes opposition in Bamako

Reuters Africa

By Adama Diarra Tiemoko Diallo

BAMAKO (Reuters) – Soldiers from Mali’s ruling junta foiled a counter-coup bid by presidential guardsmen on Tuesday, overrunning their base in the capital and fending off their assaults on the airport and the state broadcaster.

The clashes in the West African state – a posterchild of African democracy before a March 22 putsch and a Tuareg rebellion thrust it into chaos – came as a setback to early international efforts to restore constitutional order.

France, Mali’s former colonial ruler, said it was “extremely concerned” by the clashes and called for them to stop, while West African regional bloc ECOWAS said the fighting had delayed talks intended to guide its transition.

“Only by re-establishing civil order will the transitional government be able to deal with the situation it faces,” a French foreign ministry spokesman said.

Members of the red beret presidential guard unit attacked important sites in and around Bamako late on Monday and into Tuesday in an apparent attempt to unseat the junta that has been in power since it ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure.  Read more...

Mali – junta says it is still in control in Bamako after fighting


Mali’s coup leaders have said they are in control of the situation in Bamako, after hours of fighting in the capital.

In a message on TV, they said they held the state broadcasting building, the airport and army barracks after a counter-coup attempt by loyalists of ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure.

However, reports say heavy gunfire continued in the city. Several people are believed to have been killed.

The junta handed power to an interim government after the March coup.

But the junta – led by Cpt Amadou Sanago – is still thought to wield considerable influence in the West African country.

Deserted streets
In the TV message broadcast early on Tuesday, the coup leaders said the situation was under control after the clashes with members of presidential guard.

Members of the “Red Berets” presidential guards unit earlier reportedly entered the broadcaster’s building, which had been controlled by pro-junta forces since the coup.
“These are elements of the presidential guard from the old regime and they’re trying to turn things around,” junta spokesman Bacary Mariko told the Reuters news agency.  Read more…

Ecowas and the Guinea Bissau and Mali coups


Abidjan — Rebel leaders in Guinea-Bissau have released the country’s prime minister and interim president, who were arrested in the country’s Apr. 12 coup, and have flown them to Côte d’Ivoire.

The release of Carlos Gomes Junior and Raimundo Pereira is an encouraging response by the junta to demands by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS ) for the immediate restoration of constitutional rule.

ECOWAS has given Guinea-Bissau’s military junta 72 hours until Apr. 29 to restore constitutional order, and decided to send a contingent of at least 500 soldiers to the country, which has been in crisis since the coup d’état.

“We can’t tolerate this usurpation of power by the junta in Guinea-Bissau any longer,” Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara, the current head of ECOWAS, declared during an extraordinary summit held in Abidjan on Apr. 26, adding that the coup leaders must must step down and allow a transition process to be put in place quickly.

At the conclusion of the summit, ECOWAS warned that if the junta in Bissau did not accede to its demands, the regional body would immediately impose sanctions on members of the military command and their associates.

ECOWAS further threatened to take diplomatic, economic and financial sanctions against Guinea-Bissau without excluding the possibility of referring cases for prosecution by the International Criminal Court.

West African heads of state also decided to send troops to both Guinea-Bissau and Mali.

“The force to be deployed in Mali will assist the transitional bodies and the interim government to respond to any eventuality should the use of force be needed to restore the territorial integrity of Mali,” the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Désiré Kadré Ouédraogo, said at a press conference.

Ouédraogo said negotiations are ongoing with the Tuareg rebels who control the northern part of Mali, and the contingent initially being dispatched to Mali will be charged with maintaining peace and security for a one-year transitional period which is expected to end with elections.

But should talks with the northern rebels fail, he added, the mission could be reinforced with combat units.  Read more…

Mali: NGOs and aid operations suspend work after looting in captured north


BAMAKO/DAKAR, 3 April 2012 (IRIN) – Malians in the northern towns of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu are hiding in their homes in fear following the weekend takeover by rebel groups, during which hospitals, health clinics, government buildings, and most NGO and UN offices and warehouses were looted, and in some cases destroyed, leaving the bulk of humanitarian operations suspended.

After decades of failed Tuareg secessionist rebellions, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) has suddenly taken over most of northern Mali – with significant help from the Islamist group Ansar Dine – a barreling advance that culminated in the capture of Timbuktu on 1 April.

Issa Mahamar Touré, president of the youth association in Gao, said total chaos reigned after widespread looting of government offices, NGOs, banks and hospitals in his town. “People are hiding at their homes unable to leave…no trucks are arriving with further supplies…what will we do when our stocks run out? The hospital is closed and doctors have fled…It is complete desolation, despair…We can only turn to the international community for help.”

Ansar Dine has claimed control of Timbuktu where they say they will impose Islamic sharia law, banning alcohol as well as Western clothes and music. Several residents told IRIN they wanted them out.

“We are against this takeover,” said Amouhani Touré, a teacher who had just fled the town. “These Islamists want to impose their rules on us…we’re in the 21st century, you can’t impose sharia [law] on peaceful citizens. The authorities, if we have any still, must fight these Islamists with all their might…Timbuktu is a holy site, a tourist town; UNESCO-protected, we will say no to all forms of separatism.”  Read more…

UNESCO fears about Timbuktu in Mali fighting


The fighting in northern Mali could damage the World Heritage Site of Timbuktu, the UN’s cultural agency Unesco has warned.

Timbuktu’s “outstanding architectural wonders” must be safeguarded, Unesco head Irina Bokova said in a statement.

The historic town was seized on Sunday – but there are conflicting reports as to whether Islamist or separatist Tuareg rebels are in control.

West African states have imposed sanctions on Mali after a recent coup.

Correspondents say long lines have formed at petrol stations in the capital, Bamako, shortly after the embargo was announced on Monday.

The junta of Capt Amadou Sanogo overthrew Mali’s government nearly two weeks ago, saying the campaign against the recent Tuareg rebellion, had been poorly run.

But the Tuareg rebels have taken advantage of the political situation and made rapid advances in the past few days.

They are now in control of a third of the West African country, including the key towns of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.

he rebels are divided into two groups – one fighting for independence for the northern Tuareg homelands and another linked to the North African branch of al-Qaeda.

There are some reports that the Islamist fighters have raised their black flag over Timbuktu.Read more…

Ecowas to impose sanctions on Mali as deadline runs out


West African states are to impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on Mali immediately, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has announced.

Regional body Ecowas had given the leaders of the country’s military coup until Monday to step down.

Tuareg rebels took advantage of the political situation to seize the whole of the north over the weekend.

Correspondents say the poor, landlocked country would struggle to survive an economic blockade.

Reuters Africa

DAKAR (Reuters) – Leaders of the 15-state West African bloc ECOWAS have decided to impose diplomatic, trade and financial sanctions on Mali’s junta with immediate effect, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said after a regional summit on Monday.

Ouattara told reporters the leaders would apply the previously announced sanctions – which include a crippling closure of the land-locked country’s borders – to put pressure on leaders of last month’s coup to return power to civilians.

“All the diplomatic, economic, financial and other measures will be applied from today and will remain in place until constitutional order is re-established,” Ouattara said after the talks in the Senegalese capital Dakar.  Read more…

ECOWAS prepares to close Mali borders

This day/allAfrica

The Authorities of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have asked member states with common boundaries with Mali to close their borders and seaports if the Malian coup leaders refused to restore constitutional order in the country.

ECOWAS’s directive on further sanctions on the military junta and Mali was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency mini-summit of its Heads of States and Government in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on the Malian crisis which was assuming new dimensions with the capture of a key northern town in the country by the Taureg rebels on Thursday.

The communiqué which was made available by the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja stated that the renewed directive on further sanctions would take effect from tomorrow if the Malian junta refused to facilitate the immediate restoration of constitutional order in the country.

The statement read in parts: “In fulfilment of its mission, the delegation set out for Bamako today, 29 March 2012, but could not land at the Bamako airport for security reasons as a result of chaos provoked by demonstrators at the airport. The Heads of State, therefore, returned to Abidjan to hold an emergency meeting.

“The Heads of State took note of the reports of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the Foreign Ministers, and the Chiefs of Defence Staff, who had just returned from Bamako after their meetings with the Comité National de Redressement pour la Démocratie et la Restauration de l‘Etat (CNRDRE).”
The communiqué further explained that the regional economic bloc had decided to impose strict economic, political, diplomatic and financial sanctions on Mali.

“In application of these decisions, and after consultation and accord of all ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, Authority hereby adopts the following sanctions against Mali: Suspend the membership of Mali from ECOWAS, recall all ECOWAS ambassadors accredited to the Republic of Mali for consultation, impose a travel ban on members of the CNRDRE and their associates within the ECOWAS space, close all borders of ECOWAS member states with Mali, except for humanitarian purposes.  Read more…