Colonel Close to Mali Junta Arrested Over Attempted Coup

Colonel Close to Mali Junta Arrested Over Attempted Coup (News Central TV)

Two sources stated Tuesday that a colonel believed to be connected to Mali’s ruling junta was arrested after what the government described as an attempted coup.

The junta said late Monday that it had thwarted a planned coup led by army officers and “backed by a Western power” last week.

The strange incident is the latest in a series of upheavals in the West African country, which has seen two coups in less than two years.

“Colonel (Amadou) Keita is among the arrested terrorists,” a defense ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Keita is not well-known in the public eye, but he is said to have been one of the army leaders who overthrew the government in August 2020, then strengthened their hold in a second coup in May the following year.

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He is one of 120 members of the National Transition Council (CNT), a junta-appointed legislature tasked with passing laws until civilian rule is restored.

Colonel Malick Diaw, the head of the CNT and one of the most powerful men in the junta commanded by strongman Colonel Assimi Goita, is thought to be close to Keita.

Head of the National Transition Council Col. Malick Diaw

The coup attempt occurred on the night of May 11, according to a statement presented on national television late Monday by the junta.

Officers and junior officers were involved, and the plot was backed by a Western state, according to the statement, which did not name the country.

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It provided no additional specifics about what happened and did not present any evidence, only stating that arrests had been made.

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