Coup talk and echoes of a banana republic

These days, it seems all right to play with fire. The blaze started as a solitary spark in Mali in August when the streets, the elite, and jihadists banded to remove President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

The former president had discarded election results and written a version that tightened his grip on power. How he thought he could reinvent the Mansa Musa legend in a country riven by violence and poverty only he can tell. Outside the capital, Bamako, however, it was clear that Keita’s ambition was dead on arrival, awaiting funeral. And, of course, he didn’t last to tell…

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