Meet Colonel Assimi Goita, the leader of junta in Mali

On Wednesday, Malian Colonel Assimi Goita declared himself the leader of the soldiers who had overthrown President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta on Tuesday.

In the meantime, the United Nations Security Council has called on the mutinous soldiers in West African Mali “to return immediately to their barracks”. It has also called for the release of the prisoners, including President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

“I am Colonel Assimi Goita, the President of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP),” said the new strong man of Mali after a meeting of the various leaders of the CNSP.

Goita was one of the five soldiers who appeared on TV on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday to announce that they had taken overpower. Goita himself had not taken the floor at that time.

During a speech to the media, he explained the motives behind the coup. “Mali is in a socio-political and security crisis. We no longer have the right to make mistakes. We have, with our intervention yesterday, put the country above everything else,” said Goita, who was surrounded by armed soldiers.

Military in the streets of capital Bamako.
©AP – Military in the streets of capital Bamako.

The 15 countries that make up the Security Council met on Wednesday at the request of France and Niger for an emergency session behind closed doors. The Security Council calls for order and authority to be restored following the Malian constitution.

The military says they want to initiate a “civil political transition” that should lead to elections “within a reasonable time”.

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