Thursday, March 22, 2012

Renegade Soldiers Seize Power In Mali

....are they welcome?

Coup leader Capt Amadou Sanogo imposes a national curfew
Disgruntled soldiers in the Malian capital, Bamako have been reportedly overthrown the elected government of Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22, however, immediate reactions shows their actions are not recognised.

What began on Wednesday as a mutiny "over ill-equipment and insufficient-food" to crush the Tuareg-rebellion in Northern Mali quickly became a takeover of government within 24 hours. Many of the soldiers fighting against the Tuareg has been killed and the military has no hope of winning for now. 

The West African state is one of  a few "established democracies" in the sub-region  and was due to hold elections next month (April 29), with ousted President Toure stepping-down.

Having earlier seized the state-television, the soldiers announced early Thursday that they've taken-over. They blame Toure of mishandling the insurgency in the north that began in January, and reportedly intensifies following the return to the country of heavily armed fighters "who supported the late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi."

But their move will be subjected to a test by international condemnations in the hours, weeks or months to follow. Democratic institutions in Africa and around the world take a dim view of overthrow of democratically-elected governments.

The President of Pan-African Parliament (PAP), Hon. Dr. Moussa Idriss Ndélé, says the PAP strongly condemns, all forms of violence and the unconstitutional attempts by some elements of the Malian Army to seize power by force.

"The PAP believes that the current government of President Amadou Toumani Touré is the legitimate and constitutionally elected government of the Republic of Mali, which can only be replaced through the normal processes of free and fair elections as stipulated in the Malian Constitution and according to the provisions of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance," the PAP said.

“The German Government emphatically condemns the unconstitutional takeover by the military in Mali. We call on all those involved to refrain from further violence and demand an immediate return to the constitutional order,” added Germany ministry of foreign affairs.

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS also said it strongly condemns the misguided actions of the mutineers and warns that it will not condone any recourse to violence as a means of seeking redress. 

It remind the military of its responsibility under the Constitution, reiterates ECOWAS’ policy of “Zero Tolerance” for any attempt to obtain or maintain power by unconstitutional means.

At about 1430 GMT on Thursday, the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Jean Ping, said the Commission strongly condemns this act of rebellion, which seriously undermines constitutional legality and constitutes a significant setback for Mali and for the ongoing democratic processes on the continent.

Meanwhile, The North Bank Evening Standard understand that Mr. Ping has initiated a number of consultations, including with the Chairman of the AU, President Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Désiré Kadré Ouedraogo, and other actors, to enhance the effectiveness of Africa’s response to the ongoing events in Mali, with a view to preserving constitutional order. 

He is expected to present soon a report to the Peace and Security Council (PSC), to enable this organ pronounce itself on the present situation on the basis of the relevant AU instruments.

Meanwhile, Captain Amadou Sanogo, a junior rank holder in Mali's military has been identified as the mutiny and now coup leader.

Author: Modou S. Joof

Follow on Twitter: @thenorthbankeve




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