Yesterday afternoon, as Yeah was finishing up a meeting in downtown Bamako, he watched in surprise as across the street military troops led by Capt Amadou Aya Sanogo surrounded the National TV station. Shots were fired in the air, but no civilian was endangered. Soon after the TV and radio stations shut down. For a while the troops blocked access out of the downtown area, but Yeah was able to get home.
As we waited for events to unfold, we received reports that several military officials were livid with the government’s handling of the issue in the North, specifically not arming the troops well with food and weapons to match their enemies. The result of the last few months of fighting in the North between AZAWAD and Mali’s troops have caused deaths on both sides and also displaced about 180000 refugees. As we watched and waited, these military troops stormed the Presidential palace and several high-ranking government officials were captured. Gunfire could be heard sporadically as additional ministers were captured and citizens warned not to interfere.
At 4am, the military troops under the name of National Committee for the Reestablishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State, or CNRDR came on National TV advising the reasons behind which they had removed the President from power. They advised that temporarily military rule and curfew was in place and asked citizens not to venture outdoors. Then again about 11am, they issued another statement reaffirming their intentions and advising that a temporary government would be put in place on the 27th of March and advising all administration to return to work on that day or consider it job abandonment. Currently all airports and borders are shut down as well.
This situation has definitely been hair-raising. At this time, there is no word on the elections that were to happen on April 29th. This group keeps reaffirming that power is not their intention and there will be a return to democratic rule once national unity is restored and territorial integrity is re-established. The only question that remains is when.
Yeah issued this statement regarding the situation on behalf of his party PACP. It follows in French and English
Le Parti pour l’Action Civique et Patriotique (P.A.C.P) a suivi avec stupéfaction la mutinerie d’hommes de rang qui s’est dégénérée en une usurpation du pouvoir démocratique.
Le P.A.C.P condamne avec la dernière vigueur la confiscation du pouvoir par des militaires se réclamant du Comité National …pour le Redressement de la Démocratie et la Restauration de l’État (C.N.R.D.R). …
Le P.A.C.P demande à l’ensemble du Peuple souverain du Mali de se mobiliser pour la défense et la consolidation des acquis démocratiques.
Nos ambitions politiques personnelles ne devraient pas nous éloigner des gages qui consacrent la splendeur et la pureté des grandes valeurs qui reposent sur les fondements du vivre ensemble. Ce vivre ensemble qui fortifie la confiance et la cohésion entre les citoyens d’un même pays qu’est notre Mali.
Nous demandons aux forces armées de restaurer urgemment l’unité des différents corps militaires pour la quiétude de la population et prendre les dispositions idoines pour la protection des personnes et des biens sur toute l’étendue du territoire national.
Nous invitons la classe politique malienne à s’organiser pour exiger la remise immédiate du pouvoir au peuple malien par la constitution d’un gouvernement d’union pour assurer la continuité de l’administration et le maintien du calendrier électoral dans le respect strict de la constitution.
Vive la démocratie !
Vive le Mali !
Divisés nous perdons tous ! Unis nous gagnons tous!
The Party for Civic Action and Patriotic (PACP) followed with amazement the mutiny of men of rank which has degenerated into a usurpation of democratic authority.
The PACP condemns with the utmost vigor the confiscation of power by the military calling itself the National Committee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CNRDR).
The PACP asks all of the Sovereign People of Mali to mobilize for the defense and consolidation of democratic gains.
Our personal political ambitions should not get away from pledges to spend the splendor and purity of the great values that are based on the foundations of living together. This is what strengthens confidence and cohesion among citizens of a country that is our Mali.
We ask the military to urgently restore the unity of the various military corps for the tranquility of the population and make appropriate arrangements for the protection of persons and goods throughout the national territory.
We invite Malian politicians to organize and demand the immediate transfer of power to the people of Mali by the formation of a unity government to ensure continuity of administration and maintenance of the electoral calendar in strict compliance with the constitution.
Long live democracy!
Long live Mali!
Divided we all lose! United we all win!
To all my family and friends, please be assured that my family is fine. We are very worried about what this means for Malians and the Malian refugees displaced. Now is a crucial time for the Malian people. At this time, we pray and hope that there is a swift resolution to this internal crisis. We also pray and hope that no more people will fall on the way to restoring democracy. May Mali recover from this crisis. Vive Mali.