Mali military coup, the army attacked the presidential palace

Posted on March 22, 2012

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David Milosa | 21 March 2012
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The spark erupted in a military Kati, about fifteen kilometers from the capital, with the visit of Minister of Defense, Sadio Gassama, who wanted to reassure the soldiers on the commitment of the government in fighting the rebellion of the Tuareg
Power to the stars in Mali, with dozens of soldiers in revolt who attacked the presidential palace in the capital Bamako and government sources who report a coup. The spark erupted in a military Kati, about fifteen kilometers from the capital, with the visit of Minister of Defense, Sadio Gassama, who wanted to reassure the soldiers on the commitment of the Government in the struggle of the Tuareg rebellion in the north of that fires Country, a region considered a stronghold dell’Aqmi however, the armed wing of al Qaeda in the Maghreb. Dozens of deaths caused by fighting, and more than 200,000 civilians forced to flee their homes.

Gassama wanted to reassure the military, but the visit to the field of Kati has quickly turned into a real flight, with the minister and his staff pursued by a shower of stones. I feel frustrated because Malian military forced to fight with obsolete weapons against fighters motivated and, above all, well equipped. In the north, the Tuareg of the National Liberation Front dell’Azawad – with many returned to Mali after fighting for Muammar Gaddafi – and jihadists Ansar Din, are huddled in a pincer-like brittle armies of the Bamako. Enraged after the promises of the minister Gassama, Kati soldiers have left the base and, at gunpoint, they reached the center of Bamako, where soldiers stormed the state television building, exploding bursts of machine gun and rifle fire into the air and forcing many of its occupants to escape unharmed, but terrified.

Then they headed toward the presidential palace: witnesses and diplomats speak of fighting with heavy weapons. In the government has deployed the elite units of paratroopers, the ‘Red Berets, who defend the residence of President Amadou Toumani Toure, also using the tanks. “Now we know that this is a coup that are trying to accomplish,” said a Malian defense source on condition of anonymity. The situation is very delicate, a little over a month before the presidential elections scheduled on April 29, so that some parties are calling for a wider consultation as possible that can trace a path that will bring the country out of crisis. France calls for calm, calling for respect for the Constitution and with Washington is putting pressure to stop the escalation of violence.

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