On March 22, renegade Malian soldiers announced the unexpected seizure of the nation of Mali, former pearl of democracy in West Africa for the last 22 years. Dissatisfaction with the government’s efforts against guerilla war tactics in the north led soldiers to these measures. Military announced seizure of the country’s national television station and presidential palace in a formal coup attempt. Mali soldiers suspended the constitution and dissolved all public institutions, as well as closed the airport and all land borders. The whereabouts of the president is unknown.
These forces established a transitional government, in hopes to better handle local Tuareg insurgency. The United Nations now seeks $35.6 million to deal with this humanitarian crisis as thousands of Malians flee to surrounding countries. Tension is high as the unfolding of this situation remains unclear. The United States calls for the immediate restoration of legitimately elected governmental rule.
Have you noticed that the “religion of Peace” is involved in just about every conflict currently raging on this globe? hm!
“There were reports of soldiers abandoning their posts and running away in the confusion that followed the coup in Bamako on Thursday, raising speculation that the rebels could gain control of the north.
“State television went off the air Friday, amid speculation of a counter-coup by troops loyal to President Amadou Toumani Toure.
“The government was ousted by a group of disgruntled soldiers furious at its failure to properly arm and equip sparse military forces assigned to face the heavily armed and combat-hardened Tuaregs. Mali’s military has only 7,000 soldiers.
“The African Union on Friday suspended Mali’s membership. The European Union suspended development activities in the country, which has already been hit hard by a food crisis and a collapse of tourism because of kidnappings of foreigners by an Al Qaeda affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The EU said humanitarian aid wouldn’t be affected.
“Jean Ping, an African Union official, told reporters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that Toure, 63, was safe near Bamako. “We have been told that the president is safe, protected by a certain number of loyalists,” Ping said.
“As the army retreated from northern towns, the rebels’ group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, took the northern town of of Anefis on Thursday and were threatening Kidal and Timbuktu on Friday, according to news reports.”