Yesterday, after having been arrested by soldiers, Mali’s Interim Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra resigned from office. Since the March 21-22 military coup, there have been competing centers of power in Bamako, but as Gilles Yabi of the International Crisis Group told Reuters, ”What is really clear now is that the military junta is the one that is in control.” In a move that underlined that point, Captain Amadou Sanogo, leader of the March coup, appeared on state television to comment on Diarra’s resignation, saying, ”Some weeks ago he (Diarra) said if anyone wanted him to go, he would tender his resignation, not to the president, but to us. So yesterday, we saw that it was necessary for him to go.” Interim President Dioncounda Traore has named a “longtime civil servant,” Diango Cissoko (alternative spellings exist), as the new prime minister.
The “second coup,” as Dr. Gregory Mann calls it, has already generated much coverage and commentary – indeed, Mann’s piece is a great place to start. So rather than analyzing events myself, I think I can add the most value by rounding up the most pertinent articles. Since the conflict between Diarra and the soldiers appears to have centered on the issue of a foreign military intervention in Mali, I’ve included several articles on that topic.
- Diarra resigns (French/Bambara).
- Sanogo comments (French).
- Traore comments (French).
- Statement by former Prime Minister and presidential aspirant Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (French).
Analyses of/Sources for Bamako Politics
- Pre-coup: El Watan‘s piece (French) with a section entitled “Diarra, the Most Criticized Man in Bamako.”
- NYT: “Mali’s Prime Minister Resigns After Arrest, Muddling Plans to Retake North.”
- RFI’s interview with Professor Michel Galy (French).
- Biographies of Cissoko: official and unofficial (French).
- Dr. Jay Ufelder, “The Coup Trap.”
Statements by Foreign Governments/Bodies on PM Diarra’s Ouster
- United Nations.
- French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. See also RT, “France Urges Foreign Military Intervention in Mali after PM Arrest.”
- US State Department. As Andrew Lebovich commented on Twitter in response to the statement, “So the State Department is going to keep talking about elections in April 2013, or soon after, in Mali.” Let me speak bluntly: I think any election that took place in or around April 2013 would lack integrity and would exclude much of the country, most notably much of the north. Insisting that Mali hold elections in spring 2013 could do more harm than good.
- UK Foreign Office.
Analyses of the Intervention Debate
- Reuters: “US, France Differ over How to Deal with Explosive Mali.”
- Colum Lynch: “[US Amb. to the UN Susan] Rice: French Plan for Mali Intervention Is ‘Crap’.”
- Wall Street Journal: “EU Moves Closer to Mali Training Mission.”
Newspaper Op-Eds on Intervention in Mali
Relevant Twitter Feeds