Thursday, February 29, 2024

How Mali’s military leader escaped unharmed in knife attack

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Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Africa Feeds Staff writers are group of African journalists focused on reporting news about the continent and the rest of the world.

Helped by his military instinct, the interim Mali President Assimi Goita escaped an attempt on his life this week in the capital Bamako.

On Tuesday during Muslim prayers at a mosque, the special forces colonel who was sworn in as interim president was approached by some assailants trying to stab him in the neck.

Security agents however overpowered the assailants shielding Goita who led two separate coups from any harm.

Mali’s Prime Minister Choguel Maiga, who was sitting near Goita at the time of the attack, explained on state television that a man wielding a knife had approached the interim leader at the end of the prayer and attempted to stab him in the neck.

“As you know the interim president is an officer of the special forces, and I believe his instinct helped prevent the aggressor from reaching his objective,” Maiga said

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The military leader said after the incident that “Everything is fine, there is no problem. It’s part of being a leader.”

Goita added in his address on state television that “There are always people who are unhappy. There are people who will try to destabilise.”

He described the attack as “an isolated action” and urged for calm from citizens.

The 38-year-old Goita first led a coup that toppled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August 2020 after a political turmoil.

Goita served as vice-president to transitional leader Bah Ndaw but again ouster him in May after accusing him of undermining the transition process.

The military leader has promised to ensure that Mali finally returns to a constitutional rule when elections are held next year.

Mali has however been suspended by the African Union and ECOWAS as a result of the military takeover.

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