The effect is as predictable as it is sad. Mali's reputation as a democratic and stable country, which was carefully built up over the last twenty years, is shot. The reaction to the coup has been resolutely negative, both from African countries and from influential countries like the former colonial power France. Inside the country Malian citizens are in dread of the present (with disorderly troops roaming the streets of the capital), and in fear of the future, with the food situation already getting perilous (prices are doubling from one day to another).
What can possibly have inspired this captain Amadou Sanogo to execute this coup? Does he seriously think that a coup is going to make an end to the "incompetence" he accuses A.T.T.'s government of in handling the Tuareg crisis in the north?
Personally I am inclined to think that if ever Mali had a government capable of resolving this long-time dispute it would have the very government that has been overthrown. Please get me right: I don't mean to say that I know all the ins and outs of the political scene in Mali. I am in all respects an outsider, looking in from the outside, - but still looking in....
The fact that A.T.T. also led a coup d'état, exactly 21 years ago today (i.e. on March 26, 1991), can not be used as an excuse for this coup. Even the fact that the Tuareg rising played a (marginal) part in the 1991 coup can not be used as a justification. The coup in 1991 came after a long period of protests against an autocratic government that had done its utmost to resist any form of democracy, and that had long lost the support of the population. A.T.T. can not be compared to Moussa Traoré.
For further reading about Amadou Toumani Touré I advise you to read the paragraph on him in the Wikipedia.
For now, I would like to share with you a cassette from 1991 (the year in which A.T.T. overtrew Moussa Traoré), bought in Mopti (the town where A.T.T. was born), and recorded by one of my favourites "vendeurs de cassettes" in the local market: Amadou Fofana (more of his cassettes in future posts). The subject of the cassette is A.T.T. himself. And I have no doubt the song is in praise of the man.
About the artist(s) I know absolutely nothing, apart from the fact that they sing in Peul.
And to cool myself down, after getting very worked up, I am adding this short relaxing video from the days when peace still reigned in Bamako.....