Tag Archives: Mali

Just in: French soldiers begins inter massacre in Mali


Both were flown out following the shooting and brought to hospital in France.

A French soldier deployed to Mali as part of the Barkhane force fighting jihadist insurgents has wounded two comrades with a pistol while drunk, the army headquarters said Saturday.


The confrontation under the influence happened overnight from December 24 to 25 at a base in Gao in eastern Mali.

“Two soldiers from the same unit were getting on each other’s nerves. One soldier wounded two of his comrades with his service weapon,” an automatic pistol, army spokesman Frederic Barbry told AFP.

One of the two men was wounded very lightly, while the other’s injury was more serious although not life-threatening

Military police are investigating the incident and “once the probe is finished, (the shooter) will be flown home,” Barbry said.


France’s Barkhane force numbers 5,100 troops spread across the arid Sahel region and has been fighting jihadist groups alongside soldiers from Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, who together make up the G5 Sahel group.

Paris is weighing cuts in the number of soldiers deployed in the region ahead of a summit planned for mid-February.



Former Mali president dies in Turkey after critical condition.


Touré was president of Mali from 2002 to 2012 before being overthrown in a military coup.

Former Malian President Amadou Toumani Touré, has died.

Toure passed away on Monday in a hospital in Turkey, his family said.

He was 72.

He was recovering from a heart operation he had in Bamako before his condition deteriorated, prompting his evacuation to Turkey, according to his doctor.

Amadou Toumani Touré, a former soldier who came to power through an election was pushed out by mutinous soldiers angry at his government’s inability to stop a militant insurgency in the north of the country.


Mali crisis: Ex PM, Boubou Cisse freed months after Boubacar’s release.


The soldiers who took power in Mali on August 18 before embarking on a transition supposed to bring civilians back to power announced on Wednesday the release of the 12 civilian and military personalities arrested during their coup.

“The vice-president of the transition (and leader of the putschists, Colonel Assimi Goïta, editor’s note) informs the public (…) of the release today of political and military figures arrested following the events of August 18, 2020 “, a press release by the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), which overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta said.


“These are the former Prime Minister, Boubou Cissé, the former President of the National Assembly, Moussa Timbiné, generals Ibrahima Dahirou Dembélé, M’bemba Moussa Keïta, Oumar Dao, Ouahoun Koné, Boukary Kodio, Abdramane Baby, Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Moustapha Drabo and Colonel-Major Faguimba Kansaye “, according to the press release published on the CNSP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.


“However, the interested parties remain at the disposal of justice for all useful purposes”, adds the text.

Noting the “significant progress towards constitutional normalization” since the establishment of bodies responsible for leading the transition to civil power, the Community of West African States on Tuesday lifted the sanctions imposed on Mali the day after the coup.

West African leaders welcomed the appointment of a transitional president, Bah Ndaw, a retired colonel, and that of a former foreign minister, Moctar Ousmane, as prime minister.

They also welcomed the renunciation by the military of a major prerogative initially vested in the head of the junta:


Colonel Goïta will not be able to replace the president of the transition if the latter is unable to attend, according to the charter drawn up by the military.

But ECOWAS had also underlined that the lifting of sanctions, foremost among them a commercial and financial embargo, should be seen as an encouragement to go further.

The regional bloc, mediator in the Malian crisis, had insisted on the need to release the military and civilian officials arrested “during the coup d’état of August 18”.

To satisfy the leaders of neighboring countries, the Malian military still has to take a major step: the “dissolution” of the National Council for the Salvation of the People itself.


Storyline: Mali acknowledge spike in Malaria cases.


Malaria cases in northern Mali have spiked, according to medical workers, claiming 23 lives in the often lawless desert region last week alone.

Mali’s ministry of health said this week that 59 people have died of malaria in the north since the start of the year, almost double the number of deaths over the same period last year.

Already struggling to curb coronavirus, the poor Sahel country is also fighting a brutal jihadist insurgency active in the north and centre of the country.


Medical workers in the north registered 13,000 malaria cases between September 21 and 27, marking an 88 percent increase on the previous week.

Twenty-three people also died over that period, the health ministry said.

“At the moment, the health system is really overwhelmed,” said Cheick Ag Oufene, a health centre administrator in the northern town of Kidal, who called the situation “very alarming”.


Mahamadou Sangare, a doctor in the northern town of Aguelhok, said malaria has been wreaking havoc since the arrival of the rainy season.

WHO warning

Treating severe cases is difficult in the remote north, he added, raising the likelihood of fatalities.

Malaria claims hundreds of thousands of lives across the African continent each year.

But the World Health Organisation warned in April that the coronavirus pandemic could disrupt campaigns against the mosquito-borne disease, leading to a spike in cases.


Rudy Lukamba, a Red Cross doctor in Mali, told AFP that Covid-19 “has absorbed a lot of attention and redirected some of the funds, which has caused delays in prevention activities”.

“Cleaning up wetlands, clearing brushwood, drying up puddles, distributing mosquito nets and raising public awareness requires resources,” he said.

Swathes of Mali lie outside government control after a jihadist insurgency emerged in 2012 and triggered a deadly conflict which has since spread to the centre of the country.

Failure to end the long-running conflict contributed to anger towards president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, whom young military officers toppled in a coup on August 18.


Storyline: Mali gov’t nominates new PM


Mali’s transitional president appointed former minister of foreign affairs, Moctar Ouane, on Sunday as the West African nation’s prime minister days after being sworn into office.

The appointment of a civilian prime minister was a major condition imposed by the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, on Mali to lift sanctions that were imposed after an Aug. 18 coup. ECOWAS had closed borders to Mali and stopped financial flows to put pressure on the junta to quickly return to a civilian government.

Former Defense Minister and retired Col. Maj. Bah N’Daw was inducted Friday as the new transitional president while Col. Assimi Goita, head of the junta that staged the coup, was installed as Mali’s new vice president. The three government heads are to lead the transitional government to an election in 18 months.

The appointment of Ouane, 64, was made by official decree Sunday and signed by N’Daw. Ouane was minister of foreign affairs from 2004 to 2011 under former President Amadou Toumani Toure. He also served as Mali’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1995 to 2002 and later as a diplomatic adviser to ECOWAS.

The junta, which calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August, detaining him, the prime minister and other government officials. Keita, who became ill, was eventually released and has gone to the United Arab Emirates for treatment.


-Foreign Intervention-
ECOWAS became involved in negotiations that have pressed for a quick return to civilian rule.

U.N. officials have called for the release of the 13 of the 18 detained officials still being held at the Kati military camp in the Malian capital of Bamako.

There has been widespread concern that the upheaval in Mali will set back efforts to contain the country’s growing Islamic insurgency. After a similar coup in 2012, Islamic extremists grabbed control of major towns in northern Mali.

Only a 2013 military intervention led by France pushed extremists out of those towns and the international community has spent seven years battling the militants.


Mali crisis: Interim president, Bah Ndaw makes first offical appearance.


In his first public official appearance since being appointed Mali’s interim president — following the coup d’état in August, Bah Ndaw, a retired colonel and former defence minister from the camp of ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, met with ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan in Bamako on Thursday, on the eve of his swearing-in.

The former Nigerian president — who has been assisting with the ongoing political crisis over recent months, communicated in a meeting with his delegation, President Ndaw and other officers of the NCPS junta, that the 15 nation bloc could announce on Friday whether these official appointments would satisfy the organisation’s conditions to lift sanctions.

The 70-year-old interim president will rule for a maximum of 18 months before staging nationwide elections.

Junta head, Colonel Assimi Goita will serve as his interim vice president.


Mali crisis: ECOWAS could likely decide this Friday.


The West African bloc ECOWAS will likely decide on Friday whether to lift potentially crippling sanctions imposed on Mali after last month’s coup, its mediator said.

The mediator, Nigerian former president Goodluck Jonathan, called the 15-nation bloc’s sanctions “unfortunate” during a visit to Mali’s capital Bamako on Wednesday.

West African leaders have heaped pressure on the ruling military junta to return power to civilians since the coup toppled president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18.

ECOWAS has used the sanctions, which include closing borders and restricting trade, as leverage in negotiations with the junta.


Sticking points in those negotiations have included whether civilians or soldiers will run a transition government until fresh elections.

The junta asked for the sanctions to be lifted this week after former defence minister Bah Ndaw was named interim president, tasked with governing for at most 18 months before holding polls.

The 70-year-old retired colonel will be sworn in on Friday, alongside junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, who will serve as interim vice president.

According to the transition plan adopted by the junta, Ndaw will then appoint a prime minister, with the decision expected within a few days.


Jonathan, in Mali on Wednesday to assess the progress the junta has made in returning an order to the country, said that ECOWAS was “eager” to make a decision on the sanctions.

“ECOWAS doesn’t want any sanctions in any part of the community,” he told reporters.

However Jonathan added that it is up to Ghanaian President and current ECOWAS leader Nana Akufo-Addo to announce the decision.

“I believe that on Friday after the inauguration, probably he will make that pronouncement,” Jonathan said.


– Sanctions have ‘direct impact’ –

Mali’s neighbours are anxious to avoid the fragile nation of some 19 million people slipping into chaos.

Swathes of the vast country already lie outside of government control, due to a lethal jihadist insurgency that first emerged in 2012 and has also inflamed ethnic tensions.

Keen to set an example to other countries, ECOWAS has taken a hard line, threatening a “total embargo” on the country should the junta install military leaders of an interim government.

Soldiers of FAMA (Malian Armed Forces) stand and salute during the national anthem at the ceremony of the 60th anniversary of Mali’s independence in Bamako, on September 22, 2020, one day after that Colonel Goïta, leader of CNSP, announced that the transitional presidency would be assigned to a retired colonel, Bah Ndaw, 70 years, ephemeral Minister of Defence in 2014. (Photo by MICHELE CATTANI / AFP)

Current restrictions ban commercial trade and financial flows, but not basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight coronavirus, fuel or electricity.


Junta leader Goita on Tuesday said that “in the coming days ECOWAS must remove these sanctions for the happiness of the Malian”.

“The international community is watching us… which is why we accepted the ECOWAS principles,” he added.

ECOWAS said at a summit on September 15 that the sanctions would be lifted as soon as its conditions were met, including the appointment of a civilian president and prime minister.

But the junta has yet to respond to other ECOWAS demands, such as the release of other officials detained during the coup such as ousted prime minister Boubou Cisse.


Economist Etienne Fakaba Sissoko said that the sanctions — coupled with the coronavirus pandemic — meant that Mali was barrelling into a recession.

“The immediate consequence is a reduction in public expenditure. This has a direct impact on the population,” he told AFP.

Before the coup, the Sahel country had already been facing an economic downturn, aggravated by the jihadist insurgency and chronic inter-ethnic violence.

It was frustrations over this intractable conflict — plus economic concerns and perceived corruption — which spurred anti-Keita protesters onto the streets this year, with the building unrest culminating in the coup.


Mali crisis: Junta chief demand end of sanctions imposed after coup.


Mali’s military junta leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, on Tuesday demanded an end to potentially crippling economic sanctions imposed after last month’s coup in the poor Sahel state.

Addressing reporters during a ceremony marking 60 years of Malian independence, Goita said the recent nomination of a civilian as interim president meant that West African leaders must end their trade embargo.

The 15-nation West Africa bloc ECOWAS shuttered Mali’s borders and imposed trade restrictions after Malian military officers ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on August 18.

Last week, the trade bloc also insisted that it would maintain the measures unless Mali’s ruling officers appoint civilian leaders swiftly.

“The international community is watching us… which is why we accepted the ECOWAS principles,” Goita said on Tuesday.

“In the coming days ECOWAS must remove these sanctions for the happiness of the Malian people,” he added.

The demand comes after a group of officials selected by the junta chose retired colonel Bah Ndaw as interim president on Monday.


The 70-year-old will lead a transition government for a maximum of 18 months before staging national elections, according to a plan endorsed by the junta.

But it remains unclear how West African leaders will react to Ndaw’s nomination.

Hauled back from retirement, the former defence minister spent his career in Mali’s military, where he occupied a series of senior positions.

Goita himself will remain as vice president of the transition government.


ECOWAS’ mediator in Mali’s crisis, former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, is expected in the capital Bamako on Wednesday.

‘Total embargo’
Mali’s neighbours are anxious to avoid the fragile nation of some 19 million people slipping into chaos.

Swathes of the vast country already lie outside of government control, due to a lethal jihadist insurgency that first emerged in 2012 and has also inflamed ethnic tensions.

Last week, ECOWAS took a hard line and threatened a “total embargo” on the country should the junta install military leaders of an interim government.


Current restrictions ban commercial trade and financial flows, but not basic necessities, drugs, equipment to fight coronavirus, fuel or electricity.

Heavy sanctions could bite in the poor country already facing a severe economic downturn, aggravated by the jihadist insurgency and chronic inter-ethnic violence.

It was frustrations over this intractable conflict — plus economic concerns and perceived corruption — which pushed anti-Keita protesters onto the streets this year, provoking tensions which culminated in last month’s coup.

Goita on Tuesday urged citizens to form a “sacred union around Mali” and support the security forces.


“Today is an opportunity for me to congratulate and encourage them for all their efforts to bring security and peace to Mali,” he said of the troops.

The junta leader also called on Malians to support the “partner forces” of France and the United Nations in the country, which are often a target of popular anger.

The urging came as a protest against foreign troops was expected in Mali’s capital Bamako on Tuesday.

France has 5,100 soldiers deployed across the Sahel as part of its anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane. There are also 13,000 members of a UN peacekeeping force in Mali.


Mali crisis: AcFta urge quick political reform; Opposition say Junta’s plan…


Opposition group says Junta’s plan does not reflect people’s views

• The Junta’s plan not relevant to views of the people •

As Mali’s junta tried to hash out a political roadmap with West African leaders in Ghana on Tuesday, the 18-month transition plan agreed by the military just days ago is being contested in Bamako by the popular opposition protest group.

“A delegation from the junta went to Accra to negotiate and discuss the fate of Mali without involving the M5-RFP ( the 5 June Movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces opposition coalition),” said Dr Choguel Kokala Maiga, President of the M5-RFP strategic committee.

Mali’s popular opposition movement led the demonstrations against the ousted president Keita.


The military junta over the weekend adopted a “transition charter”.

It has yet to be published. But according to reports, it would provide an 18-month transition government, led by a president named by a committee set up by the military junta.

“The M5-RFP has distanced itself from the document produced, which does not reflect the views and decisions of the Malian people,” said Maiga.

The opposition group said in a statement it condemned the “intimidation, anti-democratic and unfair practices worthy of another era” and “distances itself from the resulting document which does not reflect the views and decisions of the Malian people.”


But said it did not intend to start a conflict with the junta and would work together to modify the charter.


• African Leaders Urge Swift Return of Political Reforms in Mali •

West African leaders urged a swift political solution in Mali on Tuesday, fearing an Islamist insurgency that has been nestled in the country since 2012 could take advantage of the fragile situation.

The 15-nation regional bloc known as ECOWAS met with Mali’s junta in Ghana. It had set the military chiefs a Tuesday deadline for naming a new civilian interim leader.

“The terrorists are taking advantage of the situation in Mali to flex their muscles even more,” said Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghanaian President and current rotating chair of ECOWAS.

“Today is supposed to be the day when the military junta in Mali is to put in place a government… That has not been done,” he said.

“The circumstances of life in Mali today require that closure be brought to the matter now. “


ECOWAS has also urged a return to democracy within a year.

But the junta, which grabbed power after a coup in August, said it would step down in 18 months.

After a similar coup in 2012, Islamic extremists took advantage of a power vacuum and grabbed control of major towns in northern Mali.

Only a 2013 military intervention led by former colonial power France pushed extremists from those cities and the international community has invested more than seven years into the fight against extremism there.


Mali crisis: Nigeria’s VP, Osinbajo attends ECOWAS summit in Ghana.


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has departed Nigeria for Ghana to attend the Extraordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Osinbajo, who is representing President Muhammadu Buhari, at the summit will join other leaders in the sub-region to discuss the political crisis in Mali and the security situation in the sub-region at large.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

According to the statement, the Vice President will also meet with representatives of the Nigerian community in Ghana to discuss issues bothering on their wellbeing in the West African country.

Accompanying the Vice President is the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb Zubairu Dada.


He is expected back in Abuja today at the end of his engagements in Ghana.

Following the coup that broke out in Mali on August 18, ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations and the United States have condemned the action.

File photo of Nigeria vice president, prof yemi osinbajo

The regional bloc suspended the country pledged a range of retaliatory actions, including financial sanctions.

Similarly, ECOWAS delegation headed by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, arrived in the Malian capital, Bamako on August 20 to push for a speedy return to civilian rule after a military coup in the troubled nation.


The delegation met with the members of the new junta as well as ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Rebel soldiers seized Keita and other leaders after a mutiny dealing another deep blow to a country already struggling with a brutal Islamist insurgency and widespread public discontent over its government.

Mali’s neighbours have called for Keita to be reinstated, saying the purpose of the delegation’s visit was to help “ensure the immediate return of constitutional order”.

“ECOWAS appreciates what is happening in Mali and ECOWAS wants the best for the country,” Jonathan said after his arrival.


Mali crisis: Boubacar leaves Bamako as Junta continue talks.


The former president of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, left Bamako on Saturday evening for treatment in the United Arab Emirates, more than two weeks after his removal by a military junta in in the capital.

According to his doctors, Ibk had suffered a minor stroke, he was hospitalized Tuesday in a clinic in Bamako and later left on Thursday.

After several months of protests, Mali is faced with a dire security, economic and institutional crisis, blamed on the entire political class.

This security crisis persists. On Saturday morning, two French soldiers of in the Sahel “Barkhane” were killed and one seriously injured by explosives in the Tessalit region in (northern Mali), according to a statement by the French presidency.

Mali is faced with a dire security, economic and institutional crisis, blamed on the entire political class.


Two soldiers, others killed in Mali explosives.


Two French soldiers with the anti-jihadist Barkhane force in Mali were killed Saturday when their armoured vehicle hit an improvised explosive device, the French presidency said.

A third soldier was wounded in the explosion in the Tessalit province of the northeastern region of Kidal, a statement said.

President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the two dead soldiers, members of a paratroop regiment based in Tarbes, southwest France, while repeating his call for a swift transition to civilian rule by the military junta that seized power last month.

Senior French politicians and military officers have expressed concern at the effect that last month’s military coup might have on the effectiveness of the fight against the jihadist active in Mali and neighbouring countries.


Swathes of Mali’s territory are outside of the control of central authorities and years of fighting have failed to halt an Islamist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives since emerging in 2012.

This handout picture released by the French Army Information and Public Relations Service (SIRPA Terre) on September 5, 2020, shows 1st Class Hussar Arnaud Volpe of the 1st regiment of parachute hussars of Tarbes, who was killed on September 5, 2020 in Mali during his deployment as part of the Operation Barkhane. SIRPA / AFP

France has deployed over 5,000 troops serving in its Barkhane anti-jihadist force in West Africa.

According to the French army command, this latest incident brings to 45 the number of French soldiers who have died serving in the Sahel region since 2013.

In November 2019, France lost 13 soldiers in a single incident when two helicopters collided during an operation in Mali.


Mali leader, Junta begins talks to civilian rule


Mali’s military junta began talks on its promised transition to civilian rule on Saturday after mounting pressure from neighbours since it overthrew the nation’s leader in a coup.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was detained on August 18 after his seven-year rule. Opposition protests by the June 5 Movement urged he stepped down after endemic corruption and a simmering jihadist revolt.

The military junta pledged to step down after an undefined transition period, but the putsch has prompted Mali’s neighbours and former colonial ruler France to demand a swift transfer of power, with fears the crisis could spill over into the fragile Sahel.


The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc has imposed sanctions and closed borders to Mali as part of efforts to press the junta into handing over power quickly.

Saturday’s summit was originally planned for last weekend but was called off at the last minute after a quarrel between the military and the June 5 Movement, which spearheaded the protests that led to the toppling of president Keita.

The opposition coalition of civil and religious leaders has demanded that the military rulers give it a role in the transition to civilian rule, but was not invited for transition talks last Saturday.

It has now been included in this weekend’s talks.

Former rebels and civil society were also invited to the discussions.


The weekend talks, chaired by junta leader Colonel Assimi Goita, began on Saturday in the capital Bamako.

Parallel talks will take place in regional capitals, led by regional governors, according to the junta.

No date has yet been set for a power transition.

As for Keita, he left hospital on Thursday after suffering a mini-stroke following the coup, sources said.

The June 5 Movement led the protests against him for weeks before he was removed from power.


Group of French anti-jihadist kills Malian civilian.


French anti-jihadist troops in Mali killed a civilian Tuesday and injured two others after a bus refused to slow down in a volatile area despite their orders, the French army command said.

The incident occurred about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the city of Gao in Mali’s troubled north.

The French soldiers fired warning shots in the ground but two bullets bounced off and hit the windscreen, wounding three people, including one fatally, the French army command said.

“The seriously wounded person was evacuated by helicopter to the hospital of the (French) Barkhane force in Gao, but died of his injuries,” it said.

“All steps have been taken to ascertain the exact sequence of events,” it said, expressing its “sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.”

Mali is now under the control of a junta which seized power in a putsch two weeks ago.


Swathes of its territory are outside of the control of central authorities and years of fighting have failed to halt an Islamist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives since emerging in 2012.

France has deployed over 5,000 troops serving in its Barkhane anti-jihadist force in West Africa.

A key part of French strategy to combat terrorism in the turbulent region lies with the so-called G5 Sahel force — a scheme to create a 5,000-man joint force gathering Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Mali and Niger.

But the force lacks equipment, training and funds.


Mali crisis: The Junta postpone first meeting.


Mali military rulers said on Saturday they were postponing their first meeting over the transfer of powers due to “organisational reasons” nearly two weeks after ousting the president in a coup.

The junta had invited civic groups, political organisations and former rebels to consultations on Saturday, but said in a statement that the meeting was postponed to a later date.

A protest coalition that had campaigned against former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the June 5 Movement, had not been invited to participate in the meeting.

The group has demanded that the military junta give it a role in the transition to a civilian rule which the military has promised, though without a timetable.

Malian Air Force deputy chief of staff and military junta spokesperson Ismael Wague (C) holds a press conference in Kati on August 19, 2020, a day after the military arrested Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and he officially resigned.

After an escalating series of mass protests, young army officers mutinied on August 18, seizing Keita and other leaders and declaring they now governed the country.


The coup shocked Mali’s West African neighbours and ally France, heightening worries over instability in a country already struggling with an Islamist insurgency, ethnic violence, and economic malaise.

Mali’s influential imam Mahmoud Dicko, a key player in the mass opposition protests that led to Keita’s ouster, said Friday that the new military rulers did not have “carte blanche”.

His comments came as a new document published on the Malian government’s Official Journal said the junta’s head had been effectively invested with the powers of a head of state.

West African leaders, meanwhile, on Friday demanded an immediate civilian transition and elections within 12 months as they considered sanctions.


Mali crisis: Buhari attends ECOWAS summit.


President Muhammadu Buhari has attended the second extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government over the socio-political situation in Mali.

The summit had in attendance, all Presidents in the region alongside the ECOWAS President, Jean Claude Kassi Brou.

Noble Reporters Media gathered that the discussions centered on finding a lasting solution to the political instability in Mali.

The government of President Ibrahim Keita was recently toppled in a bloodless coup earning the country sanctions from ECOWAS.

The military junta in place, National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), requested a 3-year term in office after which they would return the country to civilian rule.


Several talks between the new Junta and ECOWAS for a return to civilian rule ended in deadlocks after a high-level delegation led by former President Goodluck Jonathan to Bamako failed to secure its demand.

There hasn’t been a response to this request yet from ECOWAS, but it is expected that this will be discussed at this extraordinary summit.

Meanwhile, Mali’s military leader hinted on Thursday that former President Ibrahim Keita had been freed after he was detained in the August 18 coup.

Physically present at the statehouse in Abuja to attend the meeting were the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; alongside the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of Defence ‎Bashir Magashi and the Director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.


Mali crisis: Buhari hails ECOWAS 12-months ultimatum for transition to civilian rule


President Muhammadu Buhari has given his backing to the declaration by the Economic Community of West African States demanding a 12-month transition process to civilian rule in Mali.

President Buhari who attended the ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments virtual meeting on Friday, charged the military junta to set an acceptable timetable for a return to democratic government.

In his remarks quoted in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, President Buhari maintained that Mali is in a fragile state which poses an imminent danger to the citizens and the ECOWAS sub-region.


He added that the military leadership should be flexible in negotiations by putting the interest of all Malians and the harmony of the sub-region into consideration.

“For the people of Mali, specifically the leadership, embracing Democracy and Good Governance is crucial to the country’s political stability. Mali cannot, therefore, afford to stand alone, hence the need to come to terms with the realities of an acceptable and workable transition compact that inspires the confidence of all Malians.

“With regards to other areas being negotiated, Nigeria believes that the people of Mali and the military leaders need to appreciate the fragility of their country and the imminent danger which it poses to the citizens of Mali as well as the ECOWAS sub-region, “the President said.

He urged the military leadership to focus on securing the country, faced with severe security threats from its northern part, instead of an incursion into governance.


President Buhari celebrated the news that former President of Mali, Ibrahim Keita, has been released from detention and is in good condition. He however called on the military leaders to free the remaining senior officials still in detention.

“I urge the military leadership to consider: the immediate release of all the remaining senior Government officials in detention, without pre-conditions; a transition process, to be completed in not more than 12 months, and which shall include the representatives of Malian stakeholders.

“This is a critical consideration for the new government to enjoy the cooperation and collaboration of regional and international community, and to allow the easing of sanctions imposed on Mali.”

The Nigerian President added that it is critical for the new government to enjoy the necessary cooperation.


“In this connection Nigeria will, alongside ECOWAS, provide necessary logistics support to facilitate the conduct of elections to re-establish democratic governance in Mali.”

President Buhari thanked Dr Goodluck Jonathan for mediating in the crisis, and commended Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic for convening the Extraordinary Summit.

The government of President Ibrahim Keita was recently toppled in a bloodless coup earning the country sanctions from ECOWAS.

The military junta in place requested a 3-year term in office after which they would return the country to civilian rule


Deposed Malian President, Boubacar’s son flee Abroad.


Karim Keita, the son of deposed Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita who became a focus of public anger over his lifestyle, has fled to a “neighbouring country”, sources familiar with his whereabouts told AFP Thursday.

“He left Mali two days ago by road,” said a Malian MP close to Karim, who had himself sat in parliament since 2013 and was re-elected only months ago.

“He called me. He is fine,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity


The president was arrested along with other government members during the country’s military coup on August 18, but Karim disappeared from view, apparently escaping arrest.

Pictures from leaked videos apparently showing Karim partying abroad with scantily-clad young women — which AFP could not independently verify — were a staple of demonstrations against Keita’s rule that broke out in June.

The president’s son, aged in his early 40s, was painted as a person of loose morals living the high life while his impoverished country suffered.

Public pressure prompted Karim to resign in July from the powerful chairmanship of the National Assembly’s Defence committee, although he clung on to his parliamentary seat.


The MP said that Karim could be in neighbouring Burkina Faso or Ivory Coast, while a member of the Keita family — also speaking on condition of anonymity — said he was “not in Morocco”.

“Soldiers came to arrest his bodyguard and we realised he was in danger. He’s been out of the country for two days,” the family member added.

An African diplomatic source confirmed to AFP that Karim was “in a neighbouring country.”

The junta said on Thursday that it had freed his 75-year-old father, who had announced his resignation hours after the coup.


Mali crisis: Junta says Boubacar Keita has been released.


Mali’s new military rulers said Thursday that former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was detained during the country’s coup on August 18, had been freed.

The junta, which calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), said on Facebook it was “informing public and international opinion that former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been released and is currently in his residence”.

Keita’s release had been a key demand of Mali’s neighbours and international organisations, including the African Union and European Union.

“President IBK is free in his movements, he’s at home,” a spokesman for the junta, Djibrila Maiga, told AFP, referring to Keita by his initials, as many Malians do.

Outsed president of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita

A Keita relative, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 75-year-old former leader had returned overnight to his house in the Sebenikoro district of the capital Bamako.


Keita, prime minister Boubou Cisse and other senior officials were seized by rebel troops led by young officers who staged a mutiny at a base near Bamako.

In the early hours of August 19, Keita appeared on national TV to announce his resignation, saying he had had no other choice, and wanted to avoid “bloodshed”.

The release of Keita and other leaders has been demanded by Mali’s neighbours and allies and international organisations.

Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, heading a team from the regional bloc ECOWAS, was given access to Keita last Saturday, and said he seemed “very fine.”


Mali crisis: Boubacar no longer interested in Power – Jonathan tells Buhari.


The ousted Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, says he is no longer interested in returning to his former office.

This was according to Nigeria’s former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who visited the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.

Dr Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, was at the Villa to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the crisis in the West African country.

The meeting comes ahead of an extraordinary virtual summit by ECOWAS Heads of State and Leaders scheduled to take place on Friday.

Briefing the President on his recent visit to Mali, Dr Jonathan disclosed that his team was allowed to meet with the ousted President who confirmed that he resigned from office voluntarily.


The former president also brought President Buhari up to speed on dialogue with the military coup leaders seeking to stay in power for three years, before holding elections in the country.

“They call themselves National Committee for the Salvation of the People,” Dr Jonathan was quoted as saying in a statement by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

He added, “We asked them to allow ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to return to his personal residence where he would be given tight security, but they said he could travel abroad and not return to answer questions they may have for him.

A photo taken on August 26, 2020, shows former President Goodluck Jonathan with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“We also told them that what would be acceptable to ECOWAS was an interim government headed by a civilian or retired military officer, to last for six or nine months and a maximum of 12 calendar months.


“The Interim Government would then organise elections to restore full constitutional order.”

According to the former president, the military leaders in Mali want ECOWAS to lift sanctions put in place as it is already affecting the country.

In response, he said, “But we told them that the authority to do such was only in the hands of ECOWAS Heads of State.”

President Buhari, in his remarks, stressed that the priority in Mali now should be securing the country which he said was largely occupied by terrorists.


“About two-thirds of Mali is occupied by terrorists, and it makes common sense to secure the country, rather than pursuing individual interests,” he stated.

The President was, however, hopeful that the sub-region would take a common position on the issue when the leaders meet on Friday.

A photo taken on August 26, 2020, shows former President Goodluck Jonathan walking with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He also believes the ECOWAS leaders will arrive at an amicable and generally acceptable position to all interested parties.

Recently, a series of protests erupted in the streets of Bamako, Mali’s capital despite rainfall and pleas from mediators to stay home, demanding the resignation of ousted President Keita.


The Malian leader was later overthrown by mutinying troops on August 18, amid the lingering unrest in the country.

He was arrested and taken into custody along with the country’s Prime Minister, Boubou Cisse, as well as other senior government officials.

The coup has sent shockwaves around the West African sub-region, sparking fears that one of its most volatile states could collapse.

A day after he was forced out of office, President Keita bowed to pressure and announced that he had stepped down to avoid “bloodshed”.


Mali crisis: ECOWAS talk with Military ends in deadlock.


Talks between West African nations and Mali’s new junta ended on Monday without a deal on how the country should return to civilian rule following last week’s coup, the two sides said.

Separately, they also said that ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita — whose return to office had been initially demanded by the regional bloc ECOWAS — no longer wished to resume duties.

The August 18 coup triggered shockwaves among Mali’s neighbours, fearing that one of the region’s most volatile countries would spiral into chaos.


ECOWAS — the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States — sent a high-level delegation to Bamako on Saturday, led by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, to press its demands for the “immediate return to constitutional order.”

The talks have focussed on the transition to civilian rule.

“There were discussions on both sides, given that at this stage nothing has been set down, nothing has been decided, and that as far as we are concerned, the final architecture of the transition will be discussed and defined by us,” said the junta’s spokesman, Colonel Ismael Wague.

Jonathan said: “We have agreed on a number of issues, but there are some issues that we have not agreed. So on those issues we told the military officers the thinking of ECOWAS and we asked them to go and review.”


Mali crisis: Military in power want to stay for 3 years.


…agree to release Boubacar Keita

The junta that seized power in Mali wants a military-led transitional body to rule for three years and has agreed to release the ousted president, a source in a visiting West African delegation and the rebel soldiers said Sunday.

Last week’s coup — Mali’s second in eight years — followed months of protests calling for Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign as public discontent with the government grew over the collapsing economy and a brutal Islamist insurgency.

“The junta has affirmed that it wants a three-year transition to review the foundations of the Malian state. This transition will be directed by a body led by a soldier, who will also be head of state,” a source in the ECOWAS delegation told AFP after talks with the junta.

“The government will also be predominantly composed of soldiers” under the proposal, the source said on condition of anonymity.


A junta official confirmed to AFP that “the three-year transition would have a military president and a government mostly composed of soldiers”.

The source and the official added that the soldiers have agreed to free Keita, detained along with other political leaders since the coup on Tuesday, and he would be able to return to his home in the capital Bamako.

“And if he wants to travel abroad for (medical) treatment, that is not a problem,” said the source from ECOWAS, which stands for the Economic Community of West African States.

Prime minister Boubou Cisse, who has been held with Keita at a military base outside the capital where the coup began, would be moved to a secure residence in the city.


While the coup was met with international condemnation, thousands of opposition supporters celebrated the president’s ouster in the streets of Bamako.

The spokesperson for the CNSP (National Committee for the Salvation of the People) Ismael Wague (L) and Vice president of the CNSP Malick Diaw, wearing face masks, wait to greet former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan as he arrives at Bamako airport on August 22, 2020. ANNIE RISEMBERG / AFP

Talks in Bamako
The junta has said it “completed the work” of the protesters and has vowed to stage elections “within a reasonable time”.

However, Mali’s neighbours have called for Keita to be reinstated, saying the purpose of the visit by the delegation from the regional ECOWAS bloc was to help “ensure the immediate return of constitutional order”.

Tuesday’s coup has heightened concern over regional stability as Mali’s jihadist insurgency now threatens neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.


The ECOWAS talks are set to resume in Bamako on Monday after two days of negotiations with the junta.

“We have reached a number of agreements but we have not reached agreement on all the issues,” Nigerian ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, head of the delegation, told reporters as Sunday’s discussions drew to a close.

Both the regional delegation and the military officers “want the country to move on” after the coup, he said. “We are just discussing the way forward.”

Jonathan met Keita on Saturday and said that he seemed “very fine”.


Keita won an election in a landslide in 2013, presenting himself as a unifying figure in a fractured country, and was re-elected in 2018 for another five-year term.

But he failed to make headway against the jihadist revolt that has left swathes of the country in the hands of armed Islamists and ignited ethnic violence in the country’s volatile centre.

ECOWAS Commission chief Jean-Claude Kassi Brou expressed hope over the weekend that it would be possible to “finalise everything” on Monday, underlining the military’s “strong will to move forward”.

“We need results, because on August 26, the ECOWAS heads of state meet to say whether they will strengthen sanctions against the junta, or if the grip on them will be loosened,” said a member of the delegation.