Noted: More reactions on the Mali Coup

First, an interesting point that is often not stressed enough in the news reports on the coup: President Toure wasn’t even running in the April presidential elections. He already planned to step down. So why be impatient?

Indeed, Gregory Mann seems appropriately skeptical of the coup leaders’ lofty goals for fighting corruption and promoting democracy (Africa is a Country). Brian Peterson finds a lesson in all of this: African leaders should take grievances seriously (African Arguments). I actually was unaware of the “war widow” protests in January that he mentions.

Meanwhile, our understanding of the potential routes forward continues to develop. First, the immediate consequences of the coup are still being sorted out. The US has joined other states in suspending aid to Mali (Reuters). Meanwhile, Tuareg rebels are reportedly advancing further into Mali (The New Yorker). Thinking more about the long term, Alex Thurston usefully considers whether past West African coups have lessons for Mali (Sahel Blog). I think his fourth point, “coup leaders who cause chaos are overthrown in coups”, might be prescient.

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