Which Side Will Blink First in Mali’s Post-Coup Power Struggle?

Which Side Will Blink First in Mali’s Post-Coup Power Struggle?
Mali’s coup leaders, left of table, meet with a high-level delegation from the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS, in Bamako, Mali, Aug. 22, 2020 (AP photo).

Following months of anti-government protests and calls for his resignation, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali was overthrown in a coup last month. Since then, the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, a regional bloc of 15 countries that includes Mali, has been pressuring the ruling military junta to quickly hand power back to a civilian government. But last weekend, the junta defied ECOWAS by releasing a plan that would allow a military leader to oversee an 18-month transitional period before elections are held.

On the Trend Lines podcast this week, WPR’s Elliot Waldman was joined by Alex Thurston, a political scientist specializing in the Sahel region of Africa at the University of Cincinnati, to discuss ECOWAS’ role in Mali and the political outlook for the country. Be sure to check out Thurston’s archive of WPR articles, and you can also follow him on Twitter @sahelblog.

Listen to the full conversation here:

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