Saturday, 14 December 2013

#MALI #PM PRIME MINISTER **ARRESTED** #AFRICA #AFRICOM #WW3 #COUP

"BAMAKO, Mali — Soldiers arrested Mali's prime minister and forced him to resign before dawn on Tuesday, showing that the military remains the real power in this troubled West African nation despite handing back authority to civilians after a coup in March.



The prime minister's ouster comes as the United Nations considers backing a military intervention in Mali, a once-stable country now in constant turmoil. By late Tuesday, a new prime minister had been named, but the developments drew international rebuke and raised questions about the viability of the military operation, which would use the country's military to try to take back Mali's north from Islamic extremists.



Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra, dressed in a dark suit, his expression somber, appeared on state television at 4 a.m. to announce his resignation, hours after soldiers stormed his house.

"Our country is living through a period of crisis. Men and women who are worried about the future of our nation are hoping for peace," he said on television. "It's for this reason that I, Cheikh Modibo Diarra, am resigning along with my entire government on this day, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. I apologize before the entire population of Mali."

The 60-year-old Diarra is a NASA astrophysicist who has contributed to numerous space exploration missions including the Magellan probe to Venus and the Galileo spacecraft to Jupiter. He is now under house arrest, said a spokesman for the junta, Bakary Mariko.

The government remains technically under the control of the interim president, Dioncounda Traore, who waited nearly 24 hours after Diarra's arrest to address the nation. Late Tuesday, he issued a decree naming a longtime civil servant, Django Sissoko, as the new prime minister. And in an oblique speech, he spoke of the need for Mali to remain united in its goal of reconquering the north and installing democracy, never mentioning the military."

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"Mali Listeni/ˈmɑːli/, officially the Republic of Mali (French: République du Mali, French pronunciation: ​[maˈli]), is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is bordered by Algeria to the north, Niger to the east, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire to the south, Guinea to the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania to the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) with a population of 14.5 million. Its capital isBamako.
Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara, while the country's southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Sénégal rivers. The country's economic structure centers on agriculture and fishing. Some of Mali's prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent,[6] and salt. About half the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.[7]
Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: theGhana Empire, the Mali Empire (for which Mali is named), and the Songhai Empire. During its golden age, there was a flourishing of mathematicsastronomyliterature, and art.[8][9] At its peak in 1300, Mali covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France, and stretched to the west coast of Africa.[10]In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali, making it a part ofFrench Sudan. French Sudan (then known as the Sudanese Republic) joined with Senegal in 1959, achieving independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal's withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a 1991 coup led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state.
In January 2012, an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, which Tuareg rebels took control by April and declared the secession of a new state, Azawad.[11] The conflict was complicated by a military coup that took place in March[12] and later fighting between Tuareg and Islamist rebels. In response to Islamist territorial gains, the French military launched Opération Serval in January 2013.[13] A month later, Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north. Presidential elections have been scheduled for 7 July and legislative elections for 21 July.

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