Heighten Uncertainty in West Africa as Fresh ‘Coup’ Rocks Mali, 100 Killed in Nigeria

Political uncertainty in West Africa is still growing with the latest veiled coup in Mali, and intensified bloodletting in  Nigeria.

Worried diplomats are saying that the ”arrest” of the Mali political leaders by the military, is further fueling uncertainty to the West African country after a military coup in August overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Military officers in Mali arrested the President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister of the country’s interim government after a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, multiple diplomatic and government sources told Reuters.

News of the Mali ‘coup’ broke as over 100 persons have been allegedly killed within three days in a sustained attack by gunmen suspected  to be Herdsmen in four council wards of Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.

The attack which started Saturday continued through Sunday till Monday.

Chairman of Katsina Ala Local Government Area, Alfred Atera, said many people in the area were moving out of their communities over the attack by the herdsmen which has already claimed the lives of about one hundred persons.

He said four council wards are under attack by the Fulani marauders including Yoyo, Utange, Mbatyula/Mberev and Mbayongo.

“Four council wards are being  attacked by the Herdsmen in Katsina Ala local government area and they include, Yooyo, Utange, Mbatyula/Mberev and Mbayongo council wards.

“About a hundred people have been killed by the Herdsmen if not more at different places. As the attackers are going, they are killing and dropping their victims. We have not been able to recover many people.

“I informed the military about the attack, but these people have developed a strategy, they are not attacking one place. If they attack Kwaghaondo village for instance they quickly moved to another place, so before the military could go there they will move to another place and continue with their offensive.

“I have reported the incident to all the security agencies and they are aware. “As I am speaking to you I am in my office in the headquarters of the LG, speaking to my traditional rulers to see what we can do in their own level.

“On the allegations whether the military is compromising, he said the military were not conniving but it seems the aggrieved Gana Boys have join forces with the herdsmen to carry out the attack.

“No military connivance but am suspecting the bandits’ the existing bandits there. The Gana remnants are conniving with them to cause the havoc and unrest in our area.

“I think they are trying to win a cheap popularity. They have connived to do that so that we consider their demands, which we are refused to do, that it is better we die by Fulanis than allowed our boys to kill us,” he added.

When contacted at the time of filing this report, the PPRO Benue command DSP Catherine Sewuese Anene said she was yet to receive the report of the attack.

However, in Mali, President Bah Ndaw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and defence minister Souleymane Doucoure were all taken to a military base in Kati outside the capital Bamako, the sources said.

Ndaw and Ouane had been tasked with overseeing an 18-month transition back to civilian rule after the takeover, but many inside the government and the opposition worried about the military’s hold over key positions.

The arrests occurred after the announcement of a change in government in which two members of a military junta that seized power in August were replaced.


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