Mali’s military junta said on Monday it foiled a coup attempt last week led by army officers and backed by an unnamed Western state.
The statement read on state television said that a “small group of anti-progressive Malian officers and non-commissioned officers attempted a coup on the night of May 11-12, 2022”.
“These soldiers were supported by a Western state. The attack was thwarted thanks to the vigilance and professionalism of the defense and security forces.”
The statement gave few details about what allegedly happened.
He mentioned arrests and said the detainees would be brought to justice. Their identity and place of detention have not been revealed.
He added that controls have been tightened around the capital Bamako and at the borders of Mali.
A military source speaking on condition of anonymity mentioned a dozen arrests and indicated that others were in progress.
The government press release indicates that “all necessary means” are being mobilized for the investigation and to find accomplices.
No indication of the coup attempt that allegedly took place last week had not emerged until Monday evening.
Mali has suffered two military coups since August 2020, when the army overthrew elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
The West African state has been waging a jihadist insurgency against groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group since 2012 in the north and center of the country.
Fighting has also spread to neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso.
The country’s military-dominated government has broken with its traditional partner, France, and forged closer ties with Russia in its fight against jihadists.
He had pledged to return power to civilians by February 2022, but has since extended the timeline, incurring regional sanctions.