African Union (AU) chairman, Jean Ping, has suspended Mali from the AU following a military coup to overthrow longtime president Amadou Toumani Touré.

According to the Guardian, the coup has been widely condemned in the region, and has also caused the West Africa nation to lose the aid of the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

The Guardian reports:

The coup took place just weeks before an election was due to be held in Mali, for which Touré had announced he would not be standing.

The situation in Bamako is being described as tense but calm, although groups of soldiers were seen driving around and shooting in the air. Witnesses say widespread looting has been taking place, with incidents of soldiers flagging down cars and then stealing them.

Any young man in a uniform has taken the opportunity to drive around, causing chaos and letting fire,” said one western journalist in Bamako.

The military was ordered back to barracks on Friday morning by the leaders of the coup, a group of relatively junior and hitherto unknown soldiers known as the National Committee for the Reinstatement of Democracy and the Restoration of the State (CNRDRE).

“Things are calming down,” said Abdoul Karim Ba, a Malian journalist in the city. “But people still don’t really know what is going on.” Ba said that the CNRDRE had called a meeting of civil service and administration officials in the town of Kati, north of Bamako, but that nothing seems to have been resolved.

The coup was led by Captain Amadou Sanogo, a former English teacher, who says he led the rebellion because the military was unhappy with the way President Touré’ handled the Tuareg rebellion.

Back in January Tuareg rebels began offenses in several parts of the country, apparently using weapons they brought back from Libya where they were fighting for ousted leader Muammar Gaddaf. The Tuareg fighters are seeking independence from Mali and have been battling the country’s undermanned military since the beginning of the year.

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  • Wow….so surprised. Mali is one of the calmest, non-confrontational countries that exist in that continent. When you hear of military intervention back home, it is NOT a good look!!!!! These types of coup end up BLOODY!!!!!!

    What is wrong with my people?! Why do we communicate our opinions/feelings through guerrilla warfare?! We need psychologists…up in thurr!!!!! Any takers?

    • Val

      Yeah I was surprised to hear that this was happening in Mali. I’ve always thought that Mali, along with Botswana, was one of the few very stable countries on the Continent.

      And it’s interesting that the Tuareg are in the middle of this. From what I know they are a bunch of racists.

      Side note: Did you know that Volkswagen has a SUV named after the Tuareg? I’ve been quietly boycotting VW since they came out with that SUV.

    • yeah..I never made the connection…why are you boycotting, because they plagarized the name?!

      about them being racist….unfortunately it is what is! color/race politics…even in the most unlikely places, the motherland.

    • Val

      I’m boycotting because the Tuareg were big time slave traders back in the day. So I found it strange that VW would name a car after slave traders.

  • ::sigh:: why can’t people respect the rule of law?

    • which law?! there are no laws in the motherland.

    • Vee

      @ African Mami I am so suprised you’d say that. Of course we have laws! Our power/money hungry politicians just choose to ignore them for obvious reasons.
      Honestly though, how can a country even BE a country with no rule of law?

    • @ Vee,

      sarcastic much?! eh Somali is LAWLESS! VERY.

  • Dalili

    Other than the usual blood-shed, confusion and mayhem that follows a coup and military rule, nothing really! I have no confidence in the AU at all; most of the member nations are headed by despots who have gotten away impunity.

    • Dalili

      **with impunity**

  • jamesfrmphilly

    military always taking control. unfortunately once they do they cannot govern.
    the single reason that the first world is ahead is that they have peaceful transition of power. every time you have a coup you set your country back. after multiple coups you are in the stone age.

  • Tonton Michel

    The AU did the right thing, they can not condone these actions, but I am not understanding the complaints of the military, if there are new elections happening and the current President is not running why have a coup?

    • @ TM,

      Basically, they are in protest at Amadou Toure’s government handling of the nomad led rebellion (the Tuarages) in the north. Their demands for more weapons and resource from his government were not met. As such, they decided to take matters into their own hands. They did not care that he is not going to be running for Presidency again, in the elections that were set for April.

      Now you know these fools are uneducated, and they are my people but the way they operate is so PRIMITIVE, they have the rest of us looking like damn fools too in the process.

      As per what I’ve been reading thus far, Mali is in a bad situation as Bamako has become quite chaotic. No fuel, no bread?! The very basics are now becoming non-existant. Foreign aid is being cut left right and center. Canada has just suspended its foreign aid.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/03/24/canada-mali-aid.html

      Unfortunately what is shocking for me is that this is Mali-one of the most peaceful known democracies in the motherland. All the chaos is, unfortunately a normalcy! It’s a oh well situation!