Tag Archives: coup

The floating hippo

Author’s note: a few months ago, historians Baz Lecocq (Ghent University) and Gregory Mann (Columbia University) assembled a multinational, interdisciplinary team of Mali scholars to write a comprehensive analysis of that country’s crisis. In all, eight researchers specializing in diverse … Continue reading

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Mali’s coup, one year on

It was a year ago this morning that we woke up in Bamako to a changed reality. Soldiers at a barracks outside the city had mutinied against their commanders, taken over state broadcasting and the presidential palace, and toppled the … Continue reading

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90 days of disaster

Several weeks ago I had an e-mail exchange with an acquaintance about events in Mali. I was uneasy about the way the military had suspended the country’s existing political institutions. I wrote, “the junta’s repeated attempts to ‘push the reset … Continue reading

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Bamako’s lone pollster strikes again

You almost never see opinion polls conducted in Bamako. Yes, there are periodic nation-wide social surveys like the Afrobarometer, which studies attitudes toward government and the economy, and the Demographic and Health Surveys, which ask respondents about fertility, family planning … Continue reading

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A deal, but will it stick?

By Sunday morning those of us in Bamako had all heard the news that broke late Saturday night: after weeks of deadlock, negotiators from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had reached an agreement with Mali’s CNRDRE junta, … Continue reading

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Fears, foreigners, and falsehoods

Although the day started out on a note of calm routine, the climate in Bamako has been tense since late morning, for reasons that remain unclear. As with previous days of unrest, our first warning sign came from our son’s … Continue reading

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Strange days in Bamako

8:00 a.m. GMT: I thought I heard more shooting, but it was just thunder. A rainstorm blew in about half an hour ago. ORTM is broadcasting the same kind of folklore recordings it was playing the morning of March 22, … Continue reading

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Gunfire across the Niger, again

6:40 p.m. GMT: For the first time since the coup last month, we hear the sound of shots coming from the north. So far some heavy machine gun fire and booms. The gunfire lasts about two minutes then falls silent. … Continue reading

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Is Bamako back to normal?

There’s an adjective I use a lot lately in describing life in post-coup Bamako. That adjective is “normal.” Walking or driving through the city’s neighborhoods, and talking with its residents, one can be surprised by just how little seems amiss. … Continue reading

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Vigilante democracy

March 21, 2012, 3:00 p.m.: A band of army mutineers in the garrison of Kati launches an assault on Koulouba, the presidential palace overlooking Bamako. With armored vehicles, automatic weapons and rocket launchers, they target the executive residence, forcing President … Continue reading

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