Mali: Military force takes control of capital

World Vision staff in Mali report that military action has been so far confined to the capital city and has not affected the organization’s program sites.

By Kathryn Reid
Published March 23, 2012 at 12:00am PDT

Military troops seized power in the West African nation of Mali on Wednesday. The BBC reports that rebellious soldiers have closed national borders and announced "suspension" of the constitution.  

Military action confined to the capital, for now

President Amadou Toumani Toure has not been heard from since the military took control.

A spokesman for the military said they have ended the president's “incompetent regime” and plan to hand the control over to a democratically elected government.

Mali has been under a civilian government since 1992. A national election is scheduled for July 2012.

World Vision staff in Mali report that military action has been so far confined to the capital city and has not affected the organization’s program sites. World Vision works with more than 67,000 sponsored children in 34 communities in Mali.

Some 140,000 Malians flee

The unrest was at first thought to be a mere protest by troops who say they are under-resourced in the fight against ethnic Tuareg rebels in the north.

More than 140,000 Malians are believed to have fled from the conflict, either to displacement camps or into neighboring countries.

The United Nations estimates that 3.5 million people in Mali are facing food shortages.

Tens of millions in West Africa are affected by drought, low food production, and high food prices. 

How you can help

Pray for children and families impacted by the violence. Pray for peace in Mali.

Give a one-time donation to assist children and families in Mali and other struggling West African countries. Because World Vision has been awarded government grants, your gift to help provide emergency food, agricultural assistance, and other critical support will have four times the impact.