I have taken to the habit of writing my bucket list once I have completed the item. Climb to the top of the Eiffel tower? done! Speak another language? check! But as I imagine what else could I put on this list, living in a country as it goes through a coup d’etat was something I never really wanted.
God’s certainly has a sense of humor, since two nights ago, Mali went through such a thing.
In the north of Mali, rebellious Tuareg (a people group) have been taking over cities, forcing people to evacuate. The Malian military has not taken much action and military personnel are not happy about it. Wednesday this week they said so quite publicly- taking over local broadcasting stations and surrounding the presidential palace. Early Thursday morning a coup was declared- leaving all citizens shocked, and some rejoicing.
For the following hours military spread into the city- firing shots into the air. Coup leaders announced over TV of their intentions: to put a stop to Tuareg forces in the north, maintain peace for civilians, and hand the government back over to the elected president once they have finished their mission.
Now we are more than 24 hours into this. We have had a curfew of 6pm to 6am declared, and warned not to go out in vehicles. Gas prices have more than doubled and many shops still have yet to open. The airport is closed and all land borders are also closed. It has been stated that by this coming Tuesday all government business will resume (under the new leadership?) and life will return to “normal”.
What happens next is still up in the air. There are so many complicated issues involved:
1. Famine is ravaging the country and because of the coup foreign aide is not going to deliver supplies
2. Presidential elections are scheduled in 6 weeks. Will they still happen? How will the new leader be received? Will he even be given power?
3. Who really is leading the country and military now? There has been a designated captain who has become the face of the coup, but does he have the knowledge and resources to oust the Tuareg rebels?
This is so disappointing for a country who was considered one of the most stable democratic countries in Africa. Now they have leaped back politically and many can be harmed because of this take over.
Although it is fascinating living through history, I am concerned to see what is happening around me. I am blessed to serve a God who has already figured this all out and at peace with handing it over to Him.
Know this: we are safe. We are protected. And most of all we are enjoying a few extra days off of school! And I have another bucket list item to cross off! An unexpected blessing amidst the chaos!