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Western-backed coup thwarted, country says — Analysis

According to the Bamako government, a Malian group attempted a coup using the assistance of an international state. While the military government did not name the alleged foreign culprit, the announcement comes amid the ongoing deterioration of relations with Mali’s former colonial ruler, France.

“A small group of anti-progressive Malian officers and non-commissioned officers attempted a coup on the night of May 11-12, 2022,”The statement was made by Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga on Monday evening on national television. “These soldiers were supported by a Western state. The attempt failed thanks to the vigilance and professionalism of Mali’s defense and security forces.”

The government condemned the “outrageous attack on state security, the purpose of which is to hinder — or even annihilate — the substantial efforts to secure our country and return to a constitutional order that guarantees peace and stability”Mali offered no details about the plot. 

Al-Jazeera has been told by an anonymous military source that approximately 10 persons have been taken into custody so far. To catch any accomplices who may be still out there, security has been increased at the checkpoints in central London.

On the same day Mali pulled out of the G5 Sahel Force (a multilateral effort to fight Islamist militants) the coup was claimed. In 2017, the five-member group also consisted of Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

Mali is currently ruled by interim President Assimi Goita, an army colonel who led the 2020 military coup against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita – as well as the May 2021 coup against his replacement Bah N’Daw. 

Following the 2021 coup, Goita’s government has been accused by Western powers of inviting Russian private military contractors to help Bamako fight Islamist militants in the north.

Meanwhile, Bamako’s relations with Paris continued to deteriorate. At Goita’s insistence, France pulled its troops out of Mali in February. French state media were accused by Mali of false reporting about human rights abuses and expelled from France in March. Mali renounced Paris’ defense agreement earlier in the month. “flagrant violations”French troops assumed its sovereignty. 

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