Mali transition off to rocky start

2012-05-22 14:46

  • Bradt Guide Mali
    This title features information that ranges from elephant migrations to rock-climbing. Now R262.00
    buy now

Bamako - Mali's one year transition back to democratic rule got off to a shaky start on Tuesday, amid fears the process may be derailed after President Dioncounda Traore was attacked by angry protesters.

Traore's inner circle shot down suggestions he may resign as head of the transition, which a UN Security Council delegation warned was in danger after the attack which saw the new Malian leader beaten in his own office on Monday.

"Resigning now would play in the hands of those who are against Mali," said a source from Traore's entourage.

The 70-year-old former speaker has remained out of sight since being released from hospital on Monday afternoon, but his prime minister Cheick Modibo Diarra called for calm, urging youths to put an end to protests in Bamako.

The attack came hours after mediators from the west African bloc Ecowas left the country pleased at having convinced coup leaders to accept a Traore-led 12-month transition back to democratic rule after a 22 March coup.

France's UN ambassador Gerard Araud told reporters in Abidjan on Monday that diplomatic efforts by Ecowas have been "put seriously in danger by these latest developments [and] maybe other options will now have to be considered."

A Western diplomatic source said that Ecowas was mulling deploying a regional military force in Mali to assure the transition.

Serious questions

Anti-coup coalition the United Front for the Protection of Democracy and the Republic (FDR) expressed shock that "appropriate measures were not taken to protect the presidential palace and president" during the protest.

The angry crowd, which was in favour of the ouster of president Amadou Toumani Toure and does not want Traore leading the transition, besieged his offices despite the presence of hundreds of security guards.

They managed to gain access to his office, beating him badly enough to require a visit to the hospital where he underwent an examination of a head wound and back injury.

"He is walking on his own and is in possession of all his faculties, but he is a little tired," said a family member on condition of anonymity.

One protester was seriously injured and six others hurt as soldiers tried to stop them.

Traore's party, the Malian Democratic Alliance, said the attack "raised serious questions about the state security services" suggesting complicity between the protesters and security forces.

One of west Africa's most stable democracies, Mali was plunged into crisis when Captain Amadou Sanogo led a band of low-ranking soldiers to oust Toure's government.

On 12 April the putschists agreed on a return to civilian rule and Traore was inaugurated as interim leader, but the former junta refused Ecowas proposals that he stay on for a 12-month transition period.


Traore was due to step down after a constitutionally mandated 40-day interim presidency, which would have plunged the institutions back into crisis.

Politicians felt Sanogo had done an about-turn and was jockeying to lead the transition himself.

But on Sunday Sanogo accepted a sweetened deal as he was offered all the benefits that a former president would be owed: housing, transport, security and an allowance.

As tensions remained in Bamako, the foreign minister of Ivory Coast, which currently holds the Ecowas presidency, hinted at a hard stance from the bloc, which he said "cannot support this attitude", referring to the attack on Traore.

"We cannot continue like this," he said, promising that "measures" will be announced shortly.

A 3 000 strong standby force from the region is ready for deployment if Mali requests it.

Stability in Bamako is urgently needed to address a crisis in the north, where Tuareg and Islamist rebels seized an area larger than France in the wake of the coup.

Read more on:    ecowas  |  dioncounda traore  |  amadou toumani toure  |  amadou sanogo  |  mali  |  coups  |  west africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Saturday Hout Bay - 12:31 PM
    Road name: Hout Bay Main Road
    EXPECT DELAYS between Hout Bay and Constantia due to 2 Oceans Marathon
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.