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Mali officially disbands military junta five months after coup


Mali has officially disbanded its military junta, according to a government decree seen by AFP on Tuesday, 26 January.

The junta briefly governed the country after a coup and formally remained in place even after the putschists handed power to a civilian interim government.

On 18 August 2020, elements of the Malian armed forces began a mutiny, Soldiers on pick-up trucks stormed the Soundiata military base in the town of Kati, where gunfire was exchanged before weapons were distributed from the armoury and senior officers arrested.

The soldiers detained several government officials including the President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta who resigned and dissolved the government, that was the country’s second coup in less than 10 years, following the 2012 coup

Young army officers launched the coup after weeks of anti-Keita protests, fuelled partly by frustrations over perceived government corruption, and the president’s inability to end a jihadist conflict that has raged since 2012.

Mali’s military junta held meetings on Saturday, 23 January, to discuss its promised transition to civilian rule after mounting pressure from neighbours to yield power in the weeks since it overthrew the nation’s leader.

The 15-nation economic community of west African states (ECOWAS) regional bloc imposed sanctions and closed borders to Mali as part of efforts to press the junta into handing over power quickly.

Saturday’s summit was originally planned for last weekend but was called off at the last minute after a quarrel between the military and the June 5 Movement, which spearheaded the protests that led to the toppling of President Keita.

The June 5 Movement has said it wants a transition period of 18-24 months.

The June 5 Movement led the protests against Keita for weeks before he was removed from power after seven years in charge.

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