Mali’s military junta said it foiled an attempted coup last week led by army officers supported by an unnamed Western state.
The statement read on state television said a “small group of anti-progressive Malian officers and non-commissioned officers attempted a coup in the night of May 11 to 12, 2022.”
“These soldiers were supported by a Western state. The attempt was thwarted thanks to the vigilance and professionalism of the defense and security forces.”
The statement gave little details on what allegedly happened and did not name the ‘western state’ behind the coup attempt.
It mentioned arrests and said the detainees would be handed over to justice. It added that checks have been strengthened around the capital, Bamako, and at Mali’s borders.
A military source speaking on condition of anonymity spoke of around 10 arrests and said others were underway.
The government statement said “all necessary means” were being mobilized for the investigation and to find accomplices.
Mali has undergone two military coups since August 2020, when the army ousted elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
The West African state has been fighting a jihadist insurgency against groups affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group since 2012 in the north and center of the country and have recently broken with traditional military partnership with France to forge closer ties with Russia in its battle against the jihadists.
It had pledged to return power to civilians by February 2022 but has since extended the timetable, incurring regional sanctions.