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Western-backed coup foiled, government says – RT World News

A group of Malian officers attempted a coup last week with the help of a Western state, the government in Bamako has announced. Although the military government has not named the alleged foreign culprit, the announcement comes amid continued deterioration in relations with Mali’s former colonial ruler, France.

“A small group of anti-progressive Malian officers and NCOs attempted a coup on the night of May 11-12, 2022,” government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said on national television Monday night. “These soldiers were supported by a Western state. The attempt failed thanks to the vigilance and professionalism of the Malian defense and security forces.

The government denounced the “scandalous attack on state security, the purpose of which is to hinder – even to destroy – substantial efforts to secure our country and return to a constitutional order guaranteeing peace and stability” in Mali, but provided few details of the alleged plot.

An unnamed military source told Al-Jazeera that around 10 people have been arrested so far. The government has confirmed that security at checkpoints around the capital has been tightened in a bid to catch accomplices who may still be at large.

Western-backed coup foiled, government says – RT World News

Claims of the failed coup came the same day Mali withdrew from the G5 Sahel Force, a multinational effort to counter Islamist militants in the region. The five-member group set up in 2017 also included Chad, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Nigeria.

Mali is currently ruled by interim President Assimi Goita, an army colonel who led the 2020 military coup against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita – as well as the May 2021 coup against his replacement Bah N’Daw.

After the 2021 coup, Goita’s government was accused by Western powers of inviting Russian private military contractors to help Bamako fight Islamist militants in the north.

Meanwhile, Bamako’s relations with Paris continued to deteriorate. At Goita’s insistence, France withdrew its troops from Mali in February. The country banned French state media in March, accusing them of publishing false reports of human rights abuses. Earlier this month, Mali broke defense agreements with Paris, citing “gross violations” of its sovereignty by French troops.

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