Despite the arrest of “interim” Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra (pictured) in the capital of Mali by rebellious troops last week, and the subsequent resignation of his interim government, a United Nations-led invasion to support the embattled Malian regime in its bid to recapture the north appears to be moving forward. While previous plans may have to be shelved in light of the recent developments, the coalition plotting and lobbying for UN military intervention remains committed to seeing it through.
Officials expect approval for the UN scheme to come soon, with the actual invasion probably coming sometime next year, possibly as late as September. However, experts and analysts have long warned that the half-baked plot to invade Mali, supposedly on behalf of an unelected regime and foreign powers, could easily spark further tragedy — not to mention the financial cost, the tragic track record of UN military plots, and the lack of constitutional authority for the Obama administration to participate.
The so-called “interim” government had ruled the southern region of Mali since April, after a rebellion in the north declared independence from the capital city of Bamako and a military coup d’état in the south unseated the previous government. That new, supposedly temporary authority has now collapsed — its leader, Prime Minister Diarra, arrested by soldiers at his home before being taken in front of TV cameras to publicly resign along with his whole government.
"Our country Mali is going through the most difficult period in its history," he said on TV. "During this time of crisis, the men and women of this country — uncertain of what is going to happen to their country — find themselves in an unfortunate situation. That's why I, Cheikh Modibo Diarra, have resigned with all my government."
The arrest and apparently forced resignation were reportedly made at the demand of a U.S. government-trained coup leader named Amadou Sanogo, who led troops against the previous government earlier this year. Sanogo, who remains a powerful figure in Mali, surrendered part of his usurped authority to the “interim” government in April amid international pressure.
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Photo of Cheikh Modibo Diarra: AP Images