Former President  Ibrahim Keita-The Coup  in Mali took the world  by surprise.
Former President Ibrahim Keita-The Coup in Mali took the world by surprise.

Following a mutiny that broke out on August 18 morning at the Soundiata Kéita camp in Kati, before spreading to the capital, President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita and his Prime Minister as well as many civilians and officers were arrested. In the evening, President Kéita announced on national television from the Kati camp the dissolution of the National Assembly and his own resignation. For many observers, this coup is the logical consequence of the socio-political crisis that has paralyzed Mali since the beginning of last June 2020.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita’s power was regularly contested by a crowd assembled by the Movement of June 5-Rassemblement des forces patriotiques (M5-RFP), which demanded his resignation. As a result of this undemocratic way to dismiss the regime, there will be several political, socio and economic consequences affecting the Malian mutinies along with CNSP from the ECOWAS and other international organizations.

During the last stage of the discussions with ECOWAS delegation headed by the former Nigerian president Jonathan Goodluck, with Junta and CNSP it was suggested to begin a civilian transition immediately and to quickly establish a government to prepare for legislative and presidential elections within 12 months. This transition should be led by a recognized civilian, not a military, and no military structure should be above the president of the transition, and subsequently sanctions imposed against Mali at the first extraordinary ECOWAS summit on the issue on August 20, two days after the coup, will be lifted gradually according to the implementation of these decisions.

But Mali’s ruling junta demanded a military-led transitional body to be set up for three years and agreed that ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta should return to his home and if he wants to travel for medical care it can be facilitated. Further the junta has expressed that it wants to make a three-year transition to review the foundations of the Malian state. This transition will be led by a body chaired by a soldier, who will at the same time be head of state and as for junta’s proposal the entire government will also be predominantly made up of soldiers. Due to these junta’s demands, the discussions were concluded without a concrete conclusion for the restoration of peace for the Malians. It could create a huge economic and social crisis for the entire sub region. Its ripple effects can also spill over into neighboring Niger and Burkina Faso.

Meanwhile after the collapse of negotiations efforts with ECOWAS, sub regional leaders vehemently condemned the military coup and decided to close all land and air borders with Mali until the Junta along with CNSP comes to a decision to conduct legislative and general elections during the one year transition period. It is important to remember that the continent has a strong impact on Mali in such situations. Having no outlet to the sea, to transport the products from the ports to the country, it will take the help of countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and many other countries of the said community. Since most of the manufactured products of these countries which closed their borders at the request of ECOWAS, are sold in Mali, this would undoubtedly be a real problem for these production units of the sub region.

Mali supplies the Ivory Coast, Senegal, and many other countries with meat. It is true that Mali will suffer in many ways especially vis-à-vis land transport but the billions that the ports earn from Malian imports will constitute a shortfall during the embargo period. So, it is also an economic conflict and, hence it is important for ECOWAS to review its conditions in favor of entire sub region.

Just over two weeks after the coup, Mali is still plagued by terrorism. Last week, Malian soldiers were victims of a jihadist attack on Kona in central Mali. At least four Famas (Malian Armed Forces) died on August 27. The fight against terrorism continues, and regime change is not having too many consequences on the operational front. With the August 18 putsch and the imprisonment of several generals, including the Minister of Defense, General Dahirou Dembélé, who is still detained in Kati, the chain of command was disrupted. But according to the French force Barkhane, operations were not affected.

Brigadier General Oumar Diarra, who was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces on 31 Friday, was arrested along with several high-ranking army officers on August 18 in the early hours of the overthrow of President IBK. Not for long, since a few days later he was released and promoted to the head of the Malian army. He now has the heavy task of oiling the war machine, of conducting victorious operations in the field. Last Monday the United Nations Security Council meeting had decided to renew sanctions against Mali for one year, unanimously adopting a resolution that also extends the work of the group of experts created to study the issue.

In adopting resolution 2541 (2020), the Council decided to renew until 31 August 2021 the measures set out in paragraphs 1 to 7 of resolution 2374 (2017), which include the imposition of a travel ban and assets freeze on those who impede progress in the implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement in Mali. In the terms of the resolution, it reaffirmed that these measures shall apply to the persons and entities designated by the Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 2374 (2017). The Security Council decided that all Member States shall, for an initial period of one year following the adoption of this resolution, freeze immediately the funds and other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the persons or entities designated by the Committee.

If the mutineers along with CNSP + M5 -RFP , other social and religious groups act in a undiplomatic manner towards the ECOWAS and other international organizations conditions, there can be a huge intervention from another powerful state of the West African region under the blessings of the France to overcome the economic , social and political issues facing the neighboring states due to the ongoing economic embargos , closure of the land and air borders and escalation of Jihadist movements.

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