Malian ex-president Amadou Toumani Touré, ousted in 2012, has returned from exile in Bamako, where his supporters are wondering about a possible return to politics at a time when the situation in the country is extremely worrying.
Amadou Toumani Touré, known as “ATT”, accompanied by his family, was greeted late Sunday at Bamako airport, then at his private home, by a thousand supporters, according to an AFP correspondent.
« I am doing well and I am happy to be there, » he said briefly. The 71-year-old former head of state, who had already made a short stay in Mali in December 2017, is returning definitively this time, according to his relatives.
A retired general elected president in 2002, re-elected in 2007, he was overthrown on March 22, 2012 by soldiers who accused him of incompetence in the face of the rebellion in the north of the country. In April 2012, he had formally resigned, then left Mali for neighboring Senegal and Dakar, where he has led for a discreet existence.
Mr. Touré, who remained popular, did not express himself officially on his projects. While some of his relatives say he will no longer be in politics, others believe that he will not sit idly by in the face of the worsening security situation.
“I came to welcome ATT”
« I came to welcome ATT because he is the father of Malian democracy, » Oumar Touré, a 32-year-old teacher, told AFP. For another of his supporters, “the country needs ATT, from its experience. Since he left office, nothing has been going well in Mali. «
« If it can be useful in Mali, it will be, that’s for sure. It is not going to be difficult, « said former MP Mohamed Coulibaly.
Threatened with a trial for « high treason », the former president no longer has to fear Malian justice, the National Assembly having rejected in December 2016 by an overwhelming majority the opening of proceedings against him.
The 2012 putsch precipitated the rout of the army in the face of the Tuareg-dominated rebellion and jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in northern Mali. This vast region then fell under the thumb of the jihadists first allied with the rebels, whom they then ousted.
The jihadist groups were dispersed by an international military intervention launched in January 2013 at the initiative of France, which is currently continuing, but the violence has moved to the center of the country and has spilled over into Burkina Faso and Niger.