Or did they? Here Reuters on this developing story:
BAMAKO |(Reuters) - Mutinous soldiers attacked Mali's presidential palace on Wednesday in an apparent coup attempt in the West African country, defense ministry and diplomatic sources said.
Heavy weapons fire rang out in the capital Bamako and the mutineers, angry at the government's handling of a rebellion in the Sahara desert north, forced the state broadcaster off air after seizing parts of the capital Bamako.
"We now know it is a coup d'etat that they are attempting," a defense ministry official said, asking not to be named. A diplomat confirmed the clashes at the presidential palace. continues here
UPDATE: IWNATTOS in the comments section demands that we name names....and so, all reluctantly like, we do just that. Here's what Louis 'Lobito' James of Casey Research thought about Avion Gold's (AVR.to) political risk in August 2011 when recommending the stock at $2.00 (yup, he's already lost 31.5% on his trade)
We think much of Mali’s tarnished image on the world stage comes from the criminal activity in the northern, Sahara part of the country. There’s corruption, poverty, lack of infrastructure, and other Third-World problems, but those seem to be improving. Most important is that the place looks stable by African standards, and that the country has shown itself to be a place where miners can work. (In addition to Randgold’s Loulo, AngloGold Ashanti and IAMGOLD jointly operate the 13.1-million-ounce Sadiola mine in the Tabakoto region as well.) Plus, when the government is a 20% partner, it has an interest in helping one move ahead. Burkina Faso is more concerning, but our sources familiar with the country tell us that even if there is more political turmoil and a regime change, it will not likely affect mining concessions. Those have long been respected in the country. That means Avion can keep exploring on Hounde and wait to see how things shake out before making any major capital investments in the project. This is not Ontario and Quebec, that’s for sure, but we rate the risk level in Avion – which is in production and making money now, unmolested by the state – to be acceptable.
Yup, just a coup d'etat to ruffle that call a bit, Lobito...splitting hairs I guess...
UPDATE 2: In annals of timing perfection, reader 'HA' finds this interview with Mark Lackey of Pope & Co who said in this report dated just two freakin' days ago (!!!).....
It is a mistake to suggest that all African nations are unstable. Burkina Faso has had a democratically elected government since 1987; Mali since 1991. These two countries perform differently than countries without democratic principles and both countries are pro-mining, which makes it easier to develop mines in these two countries.
We like the stability of Burkina Faso and Mali. We particularly like that they are not on the list of countries where economic nationalism is on the rise. They have recorded low political risk in recent mining surveys compared to the rest of the world. As a consequence, we feel that dealing in Burkina Faso and Mali is superior to many other places in the world.
Ahh, now ain't that cute?
UPDATE 3: Here's a report from The Voice of Russia out just minutes ago and I hope and pray they don't correct the typo (hint, missing a W), but just in case here it is for posterity:
The events taking place in Mali are "just a rebellion" and not a coup according to the president of the country, Amadou Toumani Toure on his Titter micro-blog.On Wednesday night the army of Mali stormed the Presidential Palace in the capital Bamako and there were clashes between the military and the guards guarding the home of the country’s leader.Prior to that military troops took control of the building housing state television and radio, ending their broadcasts.The cause of the rebellion is dissatisfaction within the Army as to how the authorities responded to an armed uprising of Tuareg tribes in the north.According to the military the operation to suppress the riots was carried out poorly and there was not enough food or ammunition.The Tuareg are fighting for the independence of the region of Azavad, which is located in five countries, including Mali.