Timeline: Mali since last year's coup

Thursday May 27 2021
Mali Colonel Assimi Goita

Colonel Assimi Goita addresses the press during the ceremony of the 60th anniversary of Mali's independence in Bamako on September 22, 2020, one day after announcing that the transitional presidency would be assigned to a retired Colonel Bah Ndaw. PHOTO | AFP


A look at events in the troubled West African state of Mali after its transitional president and prime minister were detained by the military and then removed from office:

August coup

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is overthrown in a military coup on August 18, 2020, after months of protests sparked by perceived corruption and failure to quash jihadist violence in the former French colony.

The following day Colonel Assimi Goita emerges as the country's new military strongman. 

The coup is roundly condemned by the international community and the West African economic bloc ECOWAS threatens Mali with sanctions. 

Junta stymied


The junta bows to international pressure on September 12 and vows to allow full civilian rule within 18 months.

On September 21 former defence minister Bah Ndaw is made interim president with Colonel Goita as his vice president.

A fortnight later a government is formed with the military holding the key posts.

Election dates set

On April 15 the dates of presidential and parliamentary elections for a civilian transfer of power are set for February and March 2020.

Government resigns

With discontent with the military growing, the government of Prime Minister Moctar Ouane resigns on May 14. But he is put straight back in charge and tries to form a new more diverse government.

New cabinet

On Monday a new interim government is formed. While the military still holds many cabinet posts, two military leaders from the old junta are replaced at the key defense and police ministries. 

Army step in again

Later that day President Ndaw and Prime Minister Ouane are arrested by army officers unhappy with the reshuffle. 
The international community condemns their detention and demands their release.

On Tuesday Colonel Goita says he stripped the pair of their powers for trying to "sabotage" the transition. He says elections will be held in 2022.

'Unacceptable coup'

French President Emmanuel Macron condemns an "unacceptable coup d'etat" and warns that the European Union could impose sanctions quickly.

Britain and Germany urge the "immediate" release of the two leaders, while France calls for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.