22 Mar 2012

Soldiers take control in Mali coup

Mutinous soldiers in Mali have taken over state television and announced that they have seized control of the government. The soldiers said the coup was necessary because of the mishandling of an insurgency in the north.

The spokesman for the soldiers, Lieutenant Amadou Konare, said in a communiqué that the troops had taken the country's security into their own hands "due to the inability of the government to give the armed forces the necessary means to defend the integrity of our national territory".

A soldier at the presidential palace said the presidential guard had failed to defend the palace against the renegade soldiers. They have seized control of the seat of government, but could not find democratically elected leader president Amadou Toumani Toure, who is in hiding.


On national television, a group of about 20 soldiers were shown in fatigues crowding around a desk facing the camera. They introduced themselves as the National Committee for the Re-establishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State, or CNRDR. "The CNRDR representing all the elements of the armed forces, defensive forces and security forces has decided to assume its responsibilities and end the incompetent and disavowed regime of Amadou Toumani Toure," said their spokesman reading from a statement.

The Press Association