The colonel who leads Mali’s special forces is difficult to read. And not only because he has gotten into the habit of wearing a beige neckband as a makeshift anti-Covid mask. Who is Assimi Goïta really? What is he looking for?
Many of those who have met or crossed paths with him say the same thing, that the man is an enigma. He either doesn’t speak or speaks very little and never lets his feelings show. And when he moves, he is often surrounded by various bodyguards that form an impenetrable shield around him.
The 38-year-old coup officer has taken everyone by surprise once again, by leading a second coup in nine months. His blood ran cold upon hearing the official announcement on 24 May of a ministerial reshuffle that removed two of his close friends: Colonels Sadio Camara and Modibo Koné, respectively minister of defence and minister of security, from power. He had Bah N’Daw, the
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