Freedom House Condemns Military Coup in Mali
Freedom House condemns the overthrow of Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure in an army-led coup that has dissolved the country’s democratically elected government and seized control of state media, and joins the African Union and others in calling for a restoration of civilian government under constitutional rule, so that elections, scheduled for next month, may proceed as planned.
Rebel troops, calling themselves the National Council for the Rehabilitation of Democracy and Restoration of the State, assaulted the presidential palace on March 21 and, by the following morning, announced over state radio and TV that a national curfew is in place and all borders are closed. The mutiny began with protests against the government for failing to adequately equip troops engaged in combat with ethnic Tuareg separatists in Mali’s northern desert, where hostilities have flared since 2006.
“We are deeply concerned about the unfolding events taking place in Mali, a long standing democratic ally in West Africa and a shining example for pro-democracy advocates across the continent,” said Robert Herman, vice present of regional programs at Freedom House. “We should recall that Mali played an instrumental role in the creation of the Community of Democracies and currently sits on its Governing Council. We urge those responsible for these highly negligent actions to abide by the rule of law and rightfully return power to the country’s democratically elected civilian leadership.”
Mali is an electoral democracy that has ranked highly in political rights and civil liberties since 1993. It is one of few countries in Africa rated Free in Freedom House’s Freedom of the World 2011 and Freedom of the Press 2011 reports.
For more information on Mali, visit:
Freedom in the World 2011: Mali
Freedom of the Press 2011: Mali
Wanted: Genuine Democracies
Mali’s Achievements Recognized by Millennium Challenge Corp.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feeds and our blog.