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Another African Democracy Goes Under

2:50 PM, Mar 23, 2012 • By ROGER KAPLAN
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The CNRDR statement assured Malians the aim of the coup is not “the confiscation of power,” but its opposite. The officers claim President Toure was an incompetent whose government was sitting by as the country was stolen by northern rebels and the democratic institutions built up since 1992 (largely under Toure’s leadership, though he did not run for president until 2002) were going to rot. The young officers appealed to Malians to bear with them until elections can be held “as soon as national unity and territorial integrity are restored.”  In this regard, the junta promises to work with civil society (les forces vives de la nation sans aucune distinction) to realize its goals. For his part, while expressing some sympathy for frustration in the ranks, the well-known political leader (and presidential candidate) Ibrahim Babacar Keita condemned the coup d’etat in the strongest terms and appealed for the restoration of constitutional order and the electoral calendar. “Inch’ Allah!” he said, “Vive la Republique, vive le Mali!”  March 23, 2012. 

Roger Kaplan, who traveled in Mali in February, writes from Washington, basing this report on correspondence and communications.

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