Mali: Interim President Assimi Goita Is Well After Knife Attack
Assimi Goita targeted in an attempted stabbing attack after Eid al-Adha prayers at the Grand Mosque in Bamako.
Mali’s interim President Assimi Goita has been targeted also in an attempted stabbing attack after Eid al Adha prayers at the Grand Mosque in the capital, Bamako, his office said. The attacker was immediately overpowered by security. Investigations are ongoing, the presidency said in a Twitter post on the Tuesday. The interim leader
was then whisked away, according to the media also said saw blood at the scene, though it was not too clear who had been wounded. Later on Tuesday, Assimi Goita announced that he was doing very well following the attack. That’s part of being a leader, there are always malcontents, he said in a statement broadcast on state
television channel ORTM. There are people who at any time may want to try things to cause instability. The attack happened as an imam was directing worshippers outside the mosque for a ritual animal sacrifice. The Religious Affairs Minister Mamadou Kone said that a man had tried to kill the president with a knife but was
apprehended. On the ground reports suggested the attacker posed as an usher for the mosque. When Goita was passing by, he [the attacker] lunged at him. Another report said he was stabbed in the arm, but these are not confirmed yet. Right now we’re not clear whether the attacker is a member of the armed groups that have
been operating in Mali and across the border in Burkina Faso and Niger. Or a military officer or even a civilian who is not happy with the government. Goita, 38, was sworn into office last month despite facing a diplomatic backlash over his second power grab in nine months. In August 2020, Colonel Goita had led a military coup that
removed embattled President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita after months of the anti-government protests too over perceived corruption and also the failure to tackle a deteriorating security crisis that first emerged in 2012. In the late May, Goita, who was also serving as Mali’s vice president in a transitional government tasked with
leading the country back to civilian rule in the February 2022, seized power again also after accusing interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane of failing to consult him about a cabinet reshuffle.
Mali has been unsettled since the 2012 when mutinous soldiers also overthrew the president of a decade. The power vacuum also led to an Islamic uprising that took control of the country’s northern cities, also including the Timbuktu and Gao. A French-led campaign removed the fighters from the northern cities in 2013. A peace agreement was signed in the 2015 by three parties, the
government, a coalition of groups that seek autonomy in northern Mali and a pro-government militia. However, the fighters quickly regrouped in the desert areas and began launching frequent attacks on the Malian army and its allies. The extremists, affiliated with al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS), have moved from the arid north to more populous central Mali since 2015 where their presence has stoked animosity and the violence between ethnic groups.