West’s ally in volatile region is rocked by soldier’s revolt

The Times

Within 24 hours Mali’s stable democracy has reached the brink of civil war, reports Julius Cavendish in Bamako

Mali was on the brink of civil war last night after mutinous soldiers led by a cadre of young officers seized the capital, Bamako, but failed to corner President Touré, who regrouped outside the city with a crack unit of paratroopers.

The renegade soldiers, angered by the Government’s failure to arm them to fight Tuareg rebels, stormed the presidential palace overnight, arresting senior members of the Cabinet.

Some troops fuelled by alcohol then went on a rampage, looting the palace, which bestrides limestone cliffs overlooking the centre of Bamako, and carting off flat-screen televisions, computer monitors and photocopiers. Read the rest of this entry »