Mali timeline: Two coups in nine months

A look at events in the troubled West African state of Mali after a second military coup in nine months that has sparked deep concerns over stability in the volatile Sahel region:

August coup

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is overthrown in a military coup on August 18, 2020, after months of protests sparked by perceived corruption and failure to quash jihadist violence in the former French colony.

The following day Colonel Assimi Goita emerges as the country’s new military strongman.

The coup is roundly condemned by the international community and the West African economic bloc ECOWAS threatens Mali with sanctions.

Junta stymied

The junta bows to international pressure on September 12 and vows to allow full civilian rule within 18 months.

On September 21 former defence minister Bah Ndaw is made interim president with Colonel Goita as his vice president.

A fortnight later a government is formed with the military holding the key posts.

Election dates set

On April 15 the dates of presidential and parliamentary elections for a civilian transfer of power are set for February and March 2022.

Government resigns

With discontent with the military growing, the government of prime minister Moctar Ouane resigns on May 14. But he is put straight back in charge and ten days later forms a new interim government.

Army step in again

Army officers unhappy with the reshuffle promptly arrest Ouane and president Ndaw.

The international community condemns their detention and demands their release. France warns that the European Union could impose sanctions quickly.

Colonel Goita says he stripped the pair of their powers for trying to “sabotage” the transition. He says elections will be held in 2022.


Mali’s constitutional court declares Goita transitional president on May 28.

The young military officer, who has shunned the limelight since arriving on Mali’s political scene in the August coup, remains something of an enigma.

He vows that a new prime minister will be appointed within days.


West African leaders suspend Mali late Sunday from the Economic Community of West African States.

But the bloc stops short of reimposing sanctions.