Mali’s transitional authorities claim they have prevented a coup attempt on the night between Wednesday, May 11 and Thursday, May 12. “A small group of anti-progressive officers and non-commissioned officers, with the support of a Western state” is said to have tried to carry out the coup that evening, according to a press release from the Malian authorities on Monday, May 16, 2022.
At the moment, the authorities have not provided any details. No name, no rank, no army corps or any details of the actions that would have been taken by these officers and non-commissioned officers that the transitional government accuses of wanting to “break the dynamics of Mali’s restoration”. Security sources told RFI that dozens of soldiers had been arrested, including several sources, including Colonel Amadou Keïta, a military engineer and a member of the National Transitional Council. Information confirmed by a CNT official who requested anonymity.
The government’s press release also indicates that research is still ongoing to track down possible accomplices, and that those already arrested “will be made available for justice”. We could therefore know more when these suspects are no longer incommunicado, but their cases will in fact be taken to court and lawyers will be able to meet them and express themselves.
Disagreement with the army In any case, according to several security sources, within the Malian army, and the judiciary, the detainees would have been condemned, especially for expressing disagreements and a form of dissatisfaction: about the conduct of military operations on the ground, and some changes in the military hierarchy. These sources can not quote the names of those arrested, but believe that they are mainly dissenting voices in the army.
In any case, this is not the first time that the Malian transitional authorities have condemned coup attempts, it is even the fourth. The first was addressed to, among others, former Prime Minister Boubou Cissé and radio host Ras Bath. That was in December 2020, four months after the first coup – a successful one, led by the junta led by the current president, Colonel Assimi Goïta. Malian justice had finally released the accused four months later.
“Western State” The second case concerns former President-General Kalilou Doumbia, the former head of the intelligence service, Colonel-Major Kassoum Goïta and four other co-defendants. They were all officially indicted in November last year for the coup attempt. They had first spent several weeks in state security prisons, outside any legal framework. Their lawyers condemned particularly violent acts of torture. Everyone is still in custody awaiting trial.
Finally, the last charge of preparing a coup is the one made by the Prime Minister, Choguel Maïga, who justified the expulsion of the French ambassador by confirming that he had “a plan to overthrow the government”. Accusations formulated in February last year on RFI’s antenna and which have never been described in detail.
Even today, Bamako claims that a “Western state” “supported” the coup attempt, which was stopped. France is not mentioned, but the accusation has been repeated. The French diplomatic sources who have joined the RFI deny that they have any information about this attempt.