Mali's Tuareg rebels take advantage of military coup


After Tuareg rebels briefly seized two Malian army bases near the northeastern Malian town of Kidal, Malian soldiers prepared to counter attack on May 28, 2006.


Kambou Sia

NAIROBI, Kenya — As expected, Mali's Tuareg rebels have decided to take advantage of the confusion following a coup attempt in the capital by announcing a new advance.

Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, A rebel spokesman in Paris, told Reuters, "The situation [in Bamako] will allow us to take advantage of the chaos to gain more ground."

The cause of Wednesday's coup — which for now looks successful if not yet consolidated — was anger among Malian soldiers. They complained the government failed to properly equip them to fight the Tuareg rebels who have increased numbers and weaponry, boosted by former pro-Gaddafi fighters returning to Mali.

The man declared as the coup leader is an army Captain thought to be the highest ranking coup memeber.

More from GlobalPost: Mali coup: Soldiers announce takeover of government on state TV (VIDEO)

Meanwhile, rumors are swirling as to the whereabouts of ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure. Early, unsubstantiated reports said he sought shelter at the US embassy, but now it seems that he is in fact holed up in a barracks surrounded by loyal soldiers.

There may yet be a dangerous battle for control of the country.