| WATCH | Dramatic footage of the attempted assassination of Mali's interim leader

  • Mali’s interim leader, Assimi Goita has survived an assassination attempt in a Bamako mosque.
  • Video footage shows at least one attacker being apprehended by Goita’s security detail.
  • An unscathed Goita told Malians that it was an isolated attack.

Dramatic footage has emerged of an attempt to assassinate Mali’s interim leader.

Interim President Assimi Goita survived the attempted stabbing on Tuesday during Eid al-Adha prayers at Bamako’s Grand Mosque. The attack took place during a prayer service which Mali’s political elite attended.

READ | Mali’s latest coup shows the military is firmly in charge – analyst

In the footage, published by news agency Reuters, Goita’s security officers can be seen grabbing two men believed to be behind the attack. Goita is encircled by other security officials and aides.

“Everything is fine, there’s no problem,” a visibly calm Goita later said on national television. “It’s part of being a leader. There are always people who are unhappy.”

“There are people who, at any time, can try to destabilise,” he said, adding that it was an isolated attack that they “handled”.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mali’s public prosecutor announced an investigation into the attack.

Goita is no stranger to discontent with the state.

Security personnel watch an alleged attacker (C) as he lies in the back of a vehicle at The Grand Fayçal Mosque in Bamako.

In June, he led a coup to remove President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane. Soldiers detained the two, before announcing that they had been removed for failing in their duties to lead the transitional government.

It was the second coup in less than a year. In August 2020, Goita again led a group of soldiers who removed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.  

Keita was removed after weeks of public protest and contestation over planned elections. Ndaw and Ouane were removed after a cabinet reshuffle that saw the removal of the defence and security ministers, both supporters of the August 2020 coup.

Despite a suspension from West African bloc Ecowas and the African Union over the undemocratic transition of power, Goita has firmly inserted himself as the head of Mali’s government. As a career military officer, he has military might over what was supposed to be a civilian-led transitional process.


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