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Mali Disintegrates

Mali is falling apart faster than anyone can figure out how to fix it.

Hours after being arrested by the same soldiers who had led a coup in March, Mali’s prime minister announced his resignation on state television. He had been in office for just eight months.

Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra’s enemies evidently decided they had had enough of the astrophysicist. Captain Amadou Sanogo, a former mid-level officer, led the coup that ousted democratically elected President Amadou Toumani Toure in March, but was soon eased aside by a coalition of West African leaders. He nevertheless kept a tight grip on Mali’s internal affairs and is now back in the spotlight. A military spokesman claimed Diarra was ousted because he threatened Mali’s return to democracy.

Whatever the reason for this latest coup, Mali’s shambolic excuse for a government is now even less likely than before to organize an operation to retake the northern half of the country from Islamic militants.

And the international community is at a loss as well. After hearing the details of a plan put forward by France and the African Union, Susan Rice had this to say: “It’s crap.”

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