By Jean Damascene Hakuzimana
On August 18 soldiers arrested President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali, along with his prime minister, during violent clashes in the Malian capital of Bamako. The rebellion began with gunfire from a military camp near Bamako, along with the torching of a building, according to the BBC. The arrest of the president and prime minister follows protests across Mali calling on the government to resign. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won a second term in 2018 but recently has been criticized for failing to fight corruption, and allowing jihadists to continue to gain ground, thereby endangering national security. Late in the day on August 18, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita proffered his resignation.
The ousting of Keita is the latest in a long string of military coups. In 1968, Lieutenant Moussa Traore ousted the Father of Independence, Modibo Keita. Traore ruled Mali until 1991, when he was removed from power by a military coup. Colonel Touré led the transition government, eventually handing power over to Alpha Oman Konare. Then Touré, who had retired from the Army, returned to politics and won election in 2002. He ruled until 2012, when a military uprising led by Captain Sanogo ousted him. In 2013, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita ascended to power and imprisoned Captain Sanogo.
Mali is considered to have been one of Africa’s greatest civilizations during the middle ages. During King Moussa Mansa’s reign, Mali was known as the wealthiest country in Africa.