Crises have been haunting Mali since independence. As soon as the French colonialists left, disputes erupted and crises followed, and military coups became a common sight in the country as differences escalated and suffering deepened.
What happened in Bamako?
On May 24, 2021, loyalists of Asimi Guetta, the leader of the August 2020 coup, detained the President of the Transitional Government Bah Ndao and Prime Minister Mukhtar Wan, after the Prime Minister of the Transitional Government made changes to some ministries occupied by the military (the Ministries of Defense and Security) and took him to a camp The army is in the “Katy” area, which is about 18 km from the capital, and many describe it as the source of the coups in this country for more than 10 years.
is the interpretation of what happened?
Many analyzes and interpretations went to different doctrines in explaining what happened, but there are two main paths.
The first: He believes that it is an extension of the crises that have plagued the country since independence and the conflicts left by colonialism between the marginalized north and the influential south, or the traditional conflict in Africa between civilians and the military, or between those who reject the hegemony of the outside and their loyalists, but in the end it is an extension of political crises that have been exacerbated for a long time whenever attempts began solve it.
The second: the analysis of experts specialized in the security of the African coast, which states that what took place is a power struggle between France and Russia, especially after the Russians returned strongly to Africa in the last decade, and the fact that the coup leader (Guetta) and some officers received training in Russia in 2019, in addition to that Moscow did not condemn The coup from the ground up.
What led to the crisis and what are its parties?
After the coup against President Keita, the military agreed to share power with civilians, and under great pressure, they narrowed the space for maneuver and exclusivity. But it is clear from the context of the events that the two parties were unable to reach a state of harmony, and they failed to accommodate the requirements of the transitional phase, which doubled the space of the forces opposing the transitional government, specifically the political forces that were a main party in the overthrow of Abu Bakr Keita, in addition to the desire of each party to Take control of the reins of power.
Both sides clung to control, which has a direct link to the post-transitional period, as each party works to achieve a greater balance that guarantees its dominance and control. And the growing public anger due to the emergence of military figures, which encouraged the transitional president to favor the civilian component of government, so he stopped appointing soldiers to the diplomatic corps.
As for the military component, he believes that he is more entitled to rule had it not been for the international and regional pressures that were exerted against him and pushed him to accept the participation of civilians in power. It is a preemption to fix the presence of the post-transitional period, by dominating the main joints of government.
After a week, what is the nature of the scene?
The country was in a state of confusion due to the difficulty of interpreting what happened after a coup that was only 9 months old, and the military tried to defend their position, stressing their adherence to the charter of the transitional period and their commitment to implementing what was agreed upon. Another coup against the idea of the transition and its charter, and the affirmation of the army’s desire to unilaterally rule after each coup:
- The transitional president and his deputy were released after they were accused of carrying out what Al-Askar called an attempt to sabotage the transitional process.
- The interim government resigned under pressure from the military after the transitional president refused to give in to their demands to dismiss the ministers they appointed on the morning of the new coup.
- Colonel Guetta, the leader of the August 2020 coup, announced that they are committed to completing the transitional period as agreed, promising the military’s commitment to reach a transitional agreement.
- The coup leader became head of the transitional authority and head of state, according to a decision issued by the Constitutional Court on Thursday, May 27, 2021, which was what the military was seeking to achieve through their coup last year.
- The military officially offered the June 5 Movement to form the government, which is a coalition of political parties, civil institutions, and national figures who had reservations about the previous Wan government.
- Reliable sources confirmed that the June 5 Movement may respond to the call to form a government, and name the Prime Minister in agreement with the military.
France’s stance was the most acute, as its President Emmanuel Macron described the event as a “coup against the coup” and condemned the arrest of the president and the prime minister, and threatened to impose “targeted” sanctions. The ECOWAS group also threatened to impose sanctions unless the formation of a civilian caretaker government is allowed. It also sent an envoy to mediate And calm down. It is noteworthy that the condemnation statements this time came out jointly between the United Nations, the African Union, the United States, the European Union and an organization describing what happened as a coup attempt.
It is difficult to predict the outcome of the situation because of the intertwining and succession of events, the large number of players and the chaos of the scene, with the availability of favorable conditions for the emergence of armed movements threatening confrontations, a suitable environment and an encouraging regional environment, but there is optimism about the restoration of the transitional period and the need to complete it to ensure the transfer of power, which is what the international and regional parties insist on.
But what worries observers is that – despite the possibility of the military accepting the de facto situation, all the evidence in the region does not encourage them to surrender, but rather may push them to take over completely by fabricating convincing excuses in a country where there are many armies that do not see survival except by eliminating the other side.
In between this and that, the suffering of millions extends on the security, economic and political levels, awaiting solutions to end their suffering, which has been draining the country’s capabilities since independence. Is Mali witnessing a real transition or will conditions deteriorate? The near future will reveal a lot of what the days hold.