Mali has witnessed four military coups since its independence from France in 1960, averaging a coup every twenty years. The exception is that last month’s coup came eight years after the previous one which deposed Amadou Toumani Toure when he was about to end his second term in office. As a civilian president, he entered political life after his retirement from the army. The context of this coup was very similar to the 1991 coup, led by the then General Amadou Toumani Toure against Moussa Traore, Mali’s longest-serving president, taking advantage of the popular uprising against economic conditions. […]
Moreover, the deterioration of the security situation was the reason for France’s intervention in Mali in 2013, in accordance with a UN resolution. Declaring war on terrorists and separatists, military operations were launched in a war with no objective other than to strengthen the French presence in the country. The number of French soldiers in Mali rose above 5,800 but they did not succeed in stabilising the situation. Instead, weapons became more commonplace, and the identity of those bearing arms changed. This raised doubts about the true purpose of the French troops being there, particularly after increased activity by the armed religious and ethnic movements in the north, close to the French bases.
Paris still views Mali as a French protectorate, in which terrorism constitutes a threat to its own interests, and this alone is a convincing justification for its presence in the country, despite the increase — up to 80 per cent, according to some polls — in those calling for the French forces to be expelled.
The French intervention has exacerbated the situation, and increased the anger of the Malian people at new colonialism disguised as humanitarian intervention. This is especially after there was raised awareness of Paris playing with countries across Africa, creating differences between key institutions — the government, opposition and armed forces, for example —and then exploiting them for its own benefit. Läs artikel