The day has not yet dawned on Bamako. On this night of August 18 to 19, 2020, the noises of boots and the ballet of armored vehicles slowly dissipated. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK) has just been forced to publicly read his resignation, and Malians are preparing to discover the new strong men of the country.
On the airwaves of the Television Broadcasting Office of Mali (ORTM), public television, the quarter of colonels who signed the fall of IBK is addressing the Malian people for the first time. Five men, four letters: the CNSP. Facing the camera, seated in line behind a wooden table, the officers of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People display impassive faces. In the center, blue beret screwed on the head, the most senior among them speaks.
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air Force since March 2019, Colonel-Major Ismaël Wagué has been appointed spokesperson for the junta. He justifies the coup by “the family management of state affairs” and the “mismanagement” which have “finished killing any development opportunity” for Mali. “In order to prevent the country of to sink, we, patriotic forces grouped within the CNSP, have decided to take our responsibilities before the people and before history”, concludes the officer, aged forty-five at the time.
Trained in China and Morocco
Among the four other colonels, who rubbed shoulders during their training, from the Kati Military Prytaneum to the Combined Arms Military School (Emia), the Minister for Reconciliation, Peace and National Cohesion serves asoutsider. Of his links with the other putschists, we know almost nothing. It must be said that before joining the Air Force in 2007, the young fighter pilot completed training abroad, from the Royal Air Force School in Morocco to the War School from China, via the Nigeria.
Sadio Camara, the man from Moscow in Bamako