Concerns over the president’s handling of a rebellion in the north lead to one of Mali’s finest traditions – a good ol’ military putsch.
Soldiers in the west African country of Mali have announced on state television that they’ve seized power from President Amadou Toumani Toure. The coup d’etat came in response to a rebellion in the north of Mali that’s proliferated since January due to arms flowing from Libya to Tuareg separatists. The soldiers’ spokesman, Lieutenant Amadou Konare, says that the Toure regime’s mishandling of the rebellion has put too many soldiers’ lives at risk by not equipping them properly for the fight. They also allege that the Toure government hasn’t compensated slain soldiers’ widows as well. The mutineers, who are calling themselves the National Committee for the Re-establishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State, or CNRDR, have allegedly taken over the presidential palace in Bamako, the capital, although President Toure’s whereabouts are unknown. Toure himself led a coup back in 1991 that threw out General Moussa Traore, who led a coup in 1968 against then-president Modibo Keita. Toure was democratically elected in 2002, and was just months away from completing his second and final term.