While international condemnation has poured in, many in Bamako have responded to the forced resignation of Mali’s PM with apathy and impatience.
Dakar, Senegal: “What else is there to say?” asked Malian shop owner Aliou Sidibe over the phone, “it is the guys in Kati [a military town 15 km from Bamako] who are in charge…that is the reality”.
What was obvious to Sidibe became apparent worldwide early Tuesday morning, when Mali’s then Prime Minister, Cheick Modibo Diarra, was taken into custody and brought to the military barracks in the nearby town of Kati by soldiers loyal to the coup leaders that toppled Mali’s democratically-elected government last March. Local news sources have described the arrest as “violent”, and a source close to the arrest suggested to Think Africa Press that “kidnapped” might be the most appropriate term to describe the events.
Hours later, a visibly shaken Diarra appeared on state television to announce his resignation.
“Our country is living through a period of crisis. Men and women who are worried about the future of our nation are hoping for peace,” he read from a script. “It is for this reason that I, Cheick Modibo Diarra, resign along with my entire government on this day, Tuesday December 11, 2012. I apologise before the entire population of Mali.”
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