The international community has quickly and strongly condemned the coup d'état in the West African state of Mali after soldiers overthrew the democratically elected government of President Amadou Toumani Touré last week.
The country, which had been regarded as a strong model of democracy, was preparing to hold elections in April, and Touré had already announced he would be stepping aside rather than seeking a thrid term in office. But frustrated with the handling of the Tuareg insurgency in the north of the country, a group of mid-level officers from the military and security forces took matters into their own hands.
"If the military decides to topple a democratic government, and particularly in Africa where democracy is so young and so fragile, major powers have to make it a point to make certain that these coups do not succeed," said Boubacar N'Diaye, an associate professor of political science and black studies at the College of Wooster, who explained that while there has been international consensus in immediately condemning this coup, that consensus does not always last.*