Mali's army in control
Up until a few days ago, Mali wouldn’t have been the first west African country that springs to mind. In fact most of us wouldn’t have known where Mali was. But the recent coup attempt by armed group of soldiers known as the 'National Committee for the Reinstatement of Democracy and the Restoration of the State' has thrust Mali into the global media spotlight. The Guardian reports that this attempt to overthrow the president – which has been described as 'military adventurism' – has received widespread condemnation with the African Union calling an emergency meeting to discuss the coup.
As CNN highlights, Amnesty reported that at least three people had been killed as the soldiers seized power.
The Independent reports that the soldiers’ coup was necessary because the authorities were unable to ‘defend the integrity of [Mali’s] national territory’.
It's likely the spokesperson was making reference to last month’s clashes between Mali's military and a Taureg armed group. During what Amnesty described as 'the worst human rights crisis in Mali for 20 years’ dozens of people were killed and thousands of people fled to neighbouring countries including Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.
Yesterday Amnesty International reported at least three people were killed by stray bullets and dozens were injured during the seizure of the soldiers yesterday.
CNN reports that Amnesty's director in Mali, Saloum Traore, said the casualties were discovered in the Gabriel Toure hospital 28 others were injured. Amnesty staff members have not been able to access the other major hospital in Bamako.
To date, it’s not clear where the ousted President is, with the military insisting that he is safe. Amnesty’s calling on the soldiers to release all the political leaders, to prevent all human rights violations and to quickly restore the rule of law.
Sadly, this tense situation doesn’t look as though it’ll subside in a day or two. It’s one that we’ll be monitorig closely.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.