Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Mob assaults Mali's president, calling peace deal into question

Mali's interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has been taken to the hospital, unconscious, after pro-military junta protesters broke into the presidential palace. Will a ECOWAS peace deal hold?

By Scott BaldaufStaff Writer / May 21, 2012

Protesters occupy Mali's presidential palace in the capital Bamako, May 21. Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has been taken to the hospital, unconscious, after mobs of protesters broke into the presidential palace Monday.

Adama Diarra/Reuters

Enlarge

Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has been taken to the hospital, unconscious, after mobs of protesters broke into the presidential palace today.

Skip to next paragraph

The protesters were supporters of the military junta that has ruled Mali since a March 22 coup. Protesters at the scene voiced support for the military junta, but not with the interim president chosen by the junta.

The injury of President Traore could complicate a deal worked out over the weekend between West African leaders and the head of the military junta, Capt. Amadou Sanogo, who named Mr. Traore interim president until elections can be held. The West African bloc, ECOWAS, which led the negotiations, has raised the possibility of military intervention, and has already approved 1,500 troops to restore order in Bamako and contain an ethnic rebellion in Mali’s north that has effectively carved out a Tuareg-majority independent country by force.

Military spokesman Bakary Mariko told Reuters that the protesters broke into the presidential palace and assaulted acting President Traore.

"They beat him seriously and tore his clothes," Mr. Mariko said. "This is a spontaneous crowd. There were three dead and some injured by gunshot amongst the demonstrators. Dioncounda's security shot at people.”

While it’s hard to gauge how broadly the March 22 coup was supported, today's attacks on Traore do show some measure of support for the military junta, and they cast doubt on West African-backed plans for a transition of power from the current interim government, following future elections. Protesters who broke into the palace were heard chanting "We don't want Dioncounda" and "Down with ECOWAS."

"The arrangements made by ECOWAS don't involve Malians. It is a betrayal," Agence France Presse news agency quoted Hamadoun Amion Guindo of the Committee of Malian Patriotic Organizations (COPAM), a pro-coup group.

Permissions

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!