Mali’s army had grown upset with President Amadou Toumani Toure for not arming them sufficiently enough to quell the Tuareg fighters and staged a mutiny on Wednesday which turned into a coup on Thursday. The coup’s leadership has imposed a national curfew and announced the suspension of the constitution at least until the Tuareg rebellion can be subdued.
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Rebel troops have toppled the democratically elected government in Mali after Tuareg rebels in the north returned home from fighting as mercenaries for ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.
Late Thursday, Tuareg combatants fought a weakened government as the rebel troops in the capital sought to complete their coup by arresting the president.
Mali’s Tuaregs have long clashed with the southern government and had been fighting an ongoing insurgency for years. Gadhafi had hired and armed many of the fighters to defend him against the NATO-backed rebellion in Libya, and they returned to Mali at the Libyan war’s end to form the strongest Tuareg-led rebel group yet – the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA).
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