Faizel Patel – 20/08/2020
A senior journalist from Dakar, Amandla Thomas-Johnson has told Radio Islam that while the unprecedented political developments in Mali is a military coup, it can also be referred to as a populous coup with many Malians glad to see the back of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
On Wednesday, political turmoil in Mali led to President Keita being held hostage by soldiers before making a televised address where he announced his resignation.
The African Union has suspended Mali’s membership in response to the ouster by soldiers of its president and government.
AU chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned what he called “the unconstitutional change of government” in Mali.
Thomas-Johnson says the military coup in Mali can also be described as a populous coup.
He says there has been months of protests over corruption, militancy and theft of legislative elections leading up to the coup.
“There were turbulent scenes in Bamako the capital of Mali. People firing rifles, people were riding on top of trucks and lorries. So this isn’t something which has gone against what it appears so far the popular will of the people.”
Thomas-Johnson says there is some optimism among the people following the coup.
“People at the moment are really happy to see Keita go. The military have called elections. I am not sure who’s going to be coming forward for these elections, but I think that the demise of Keita for many Malians, it’s hard to deny that they see as something positive.”
The AU says Mali’s suspension membership from the AU will last until constitutional order is restored, demanding the release of President Keita and other senior officials.
Listen to the interview with Amandla Thomas-Johnson