MALI - Will the military coup bring any change?

In the night from 18th to 19th of August 2020 the Malian military made a coup against Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who got captured and later resigned in a speech he held in imprisonment. He declared “Do I have a choice? (...) For my stay in power no blood shall be spilled.” Despite the coup was condemned by western imperialist countries, the statement from president Keita seems more like a formality than a real declaration to keep the power.

It was not the first coup by the military happening in Mali. Already in 1991 and in 2013 there was a coup led by the military. Both times by influence through western powers, especially France. The coups were a reaction of great instability in the country. The coup this month resulted after month long mass-protests against the president and the dangerous situation in which the people found themselves. The leader of the coup, Assimi Goita, seems in his speeches to argue in favor of the people and their need for security and stability. This argument is more of a facade than a real change, because he is in favor of keeping the foreign military in Mali, which means that the control of the country mainly lies in the hands of imperialist powers.

After the coup of 2013 in which Keita got voted president in Mali, the EUTM Mali (European Union Training Mission Mali) got installed. These European military are responsible for the training of the Malian military. Also the leader of the revolt, Assimi Goita, leader of the Mali air-force, got trained by this European Union Training Mission. Beside the EUTM Mali there are also 12.000 UN soldiers in Mali and also 5.000 soldiers from France. Since there are so many foreign troops in Mali like in no other African country, it doesn’t seem the coup through the military points to a real revolt. It seems that the "old" president Keita doesn't serve as good any more to fulfill the interests of the imperialist countries. Thats why there will be "new" elections. It seems more like a tactic for a pacification of the people, because the bad situation of the citizens and the occupation by foreign military leads to an explosive situation in the country. Since the foreign military were extended in 2013, the attacks against the people and the deaths among the citizens exploded. And also the general social situation of the people doesn't speak about "progression". For example, in 2015, 61,3% of the people over 15 years are illiterates. 2018 the child mortality rate was up to 11% which doesn’t seem like foreign “aid” leaded to a development of the country. Mali is a resource rich country. It is the third biggest gold producer in Africa and also has uranium resources which are interesting for France. Not only the resources are the reason for interest of foreign powers, but Mali’s stability has much to do with the security in the region, for example Burkina Faso and Niger.

One shouldn’t get distracted that the western countries condemn the military coup. If it would be really against their interests the western countries would have intervened more strongly. A real change in the interest of the peoples of Mali would presuppose the struggle for independence and self determination of Mali, which is expressed in the demonstrations and struggle of the people more and more in the last years.