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What is the current political situation in Mali?

6 min read

By Diksha Sharma


Africa is the continent having the enormous history of rising and falling civilizations and empires. Every day there are new discoveries made about Africa of their historic, cultural value and people. Africa’s primordial time and medieval civilization makes them even more important and exciting to study today.

However, time has changed but we cannot deny the fact that there are many interesting treasures that should not be hidden from the world.

Mostly people were engaged in farming activities and spend most of the times on farmlands to earn their livelihood. Ancient Africa had larger empires as the Mali and Songhai Empire subsequently warriors were there to maintain peace and power of emperor. The long-lasting histories are still found in the pyramids and pharaohs of Egypt.

During that time there were some important civilizations in the continent such as the Mali Empire, the Kingdom of Ghana and Carthage.

In due courses, the Mali Empire became stronger by taking over other kingdoms including the Empire of Ghana.

Today, Mali is the eighth largest country and third largest gold producer country in African continent. But, since 2012 Mali is experiencing a lot of conflicts by military coups and armed groups.

An emerging force for democracy in West Africa, Mali is struggling in recent years to maintain governmental stability.

Mali’s election of March and April 2020 was again a matter of concern of security, weak economy, increasing problems with violence etc. Malian Army forces have again reshuffled the order and peace of the country.

Now through this article the reasons will be find out that why the country again and again facing this problem.

Military Coup: Meaning

Going for further studies firstly, there is a need to understand the meaning of Military Coup that, what it stands for and why does it happen?

A Coup means to seize and remove the Government from its power. It is an illegal seizure done by the Military or dictator.

Just like Myanmar has recently experienced the Military coup as Military is back in power and has seized the government. Military leaders restrained the protest by killing the protesters.

The reason for the coup was given that the military opposed the results of the vote, which was widely seen as a referendum on the popularity of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.[1]

So, this article will help to know more that why Mali was experiencing Military coups? Is Mali ruled by civilians or armed officials?

Political unrest of Mali’s Empire

Modibo Keita was the first leader of the country who replaced all French civil servants with African. He was the regular supporter of the communist bloc. He framed radical socialist political and economic policies which led to the widespread discontent, which created a environment for army officers to seize power.

In November 1968, Lieut. Moussa Traoré, with his army force threw Keita and his government.

Mali was then ruled by a Civilian Government. During his time, he maintained close relationship with other countries like France, Western counties like United States and this attempt lead to foreign investments.

Under his leadership a new political party was framed the Malian People’s Democratic Union (Union Démocratique du Peuple Malien; UDPM)[2]. But in March 1991, demonstrations and riots were exposed in many important urban centers, leading the imprisonment of Traoré.

After the imprisonment of the Traoré a new Military Government came into existence which was leaded by Amadou Toumani Touré. Again, elections were held in 1992, but the disordering situation of the country fails to organize the election in its way and the result was Touré resigned as the President.

Alpha Konaré, a civilian thinker, won the elections and raised a new hope for the people of Mali. However, he puts his lots of effort to rebuild Mali’s economic situations, inefficient parastatals (agencies serving the state but not officially under government control). Konaré was again reelected in 1997.

Again in 2002 Traoré (who has handed over the government to civilians) time came and he was elected as the President of the country and again reelected in 2007.

In 2006 trouble with Tuareg rebels which were tenuously resolved by peace agreement but it was again emerged in 2007.

A different problem comes forward that was the Algerian-based militant group, AlQaeda in the Islamic Maghrib (AQIM) in Mali and other nearby countries.

Until 2012, Mali was a stable country but 2012 eroded the democratic norms which result into the weakening of central institutions, loss of confidence in political actors and the rise of religious leaders demanding change.

What happened in 2012 that lead to the Military Coup in the country?

In March 2012, elements of Malian Military started a protest against the Touré’s administration for not handling rebel activity in northern Mali. This became the reason for the greater unrest in the Soldiers accusing the President’s management.

After this on one hand Mali was in political crises and on other hand an Islamic group was taking control all over the north of Mali. Angry Military officers under the leadership of Captain Amadou Sanogo removed the President from power.

North rebels taking benefit of this situation seized other three more regional capitals and then now Mali’s neighbors were facing imposed economic restriction.

Military coup of 2012 has agitated the management of the country. It was the result of disappointment with the government’s handling of the conflict of Tuareg Rebels who successfully routed out the Malian forces in the north and turns into the face of revolution in March 2012 that quickly evolved into a military coup.

In January 2020, former military Gen. Amadou Haya Sanogo, who overthrew Mali’s President in 2012, was released on bail as he awaits a long-delayed trial on charges he had 21 soldiers killed after a failed countercoup that same year.[3]

He was arrested and detained for 6 years for killing 21 individuals who were opposed the coup. His Military Coup multiplied the violence in the central Mali with killing of thousands of people.

Last year in August 2020, Mali experienced anther Military coup with the arrest of Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, commonly referred to as IBK, whose term was set to expire in 2023 forced to announce his resignation.[4]

What was the reason for the 4th Military Coup in the country?

The country was facing regular problems of violence and security issues also rose then also President Election were held in 2018.

Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was declared the winner of the Election with 61% of votes. During his time also country was facing security problems, weak economy and corruption which contributed to growing frustration among the populace with his administration.

Recently, Mali’s military Vice President Assimi Goita fired President Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane in a move which is being described as a country’s second coup in a year, for naming a new government without consulting him. He also blamed the transitional leaders for the strikes and protests around the country.


Mali is facing many problems and with the Military coup of 2020 it has opened a new chapter for the people of Mali to struggle more for their rights and democracy.

Is it very difficult to answer that Mali will led by the Civilians or Military?

International partners have invested time and resources since 2012 to combat the condition of Mali and its people. They have tried a lot to maintain environment of peace and order.

People there are in a hope of justice and praying for a good life. Despite from being fighting to maintain government stability they are also fighting with natural calamities like draught, Covid-19 which has reached all over the areas of country. People are craving for food and many basic needs like health, proper and secured shelters

Besides facing these crises Military Coup has increased the difficulties of the people to survive. They have no choice only they can do is to fight with the situations.


  1. Russel Goldman, “Myanmar’s Coup and Violence: Explained” available at: (Last visited on June 9th, 2021)
  2. Independent Mali, available at: (Last visited on June 9th, 2021)

  3. Mali’s 2012 Coup Leader Released on Bail Amid Trial Delays, available at: (Last visited on June 9th, 2021)
  4. Q&A: The military coup in Mali, By Flore Berger, available at: (Last visited on June 9th, 2021)