Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mali's Amadou Sanogo heading junta

26 March 2012, 14:04 Serge Daniel

Bamako - Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, once a US-trained English instructor to his fellow Malian officers, has emerged as the leader of a military junta which ousted a democratic regime.

The middle-aged non-commissioned officer comes from Segou, Mali's third-largest city on the Niger River and 240km from the capital Bamako.

His army career saw him make his way through a military academy in Kati outside Bamako, whose barracks are now the junta headquarters after a mutiny there led to a full-blown coup on Thursday.

Analysts say the coup was hastily planned, and Sanogo has spent much of his time since trying to restore order while the country's political class and the world roundly condemn the putsch.

Paul Melly, a researcher at the London-based Chatham House, said the coup "appears have been a spontaneous boiling over of soldiers' anger" at the government's handling of a Tuareg insurrection in the north.

"There's no sign of a coherent plan and the putschists seem to be feeling their way hour by hour."

Sanogo has made several television appearances in a bid to reassure the nation, speaking in a raspy, hoarse voice and insisting he plans to hand over power to a civilian government once several problems are dealt with.

The problem at the moment was "a lack of equipment, a lack of training and our comrades are dying all the time," Sanogo told the BBC in an interview.

"So once this has been fixed, I'll be able to say 'OK, go for election' in a short period of time. I promise."

Attentive listener

The captain, with a green beret perched on his shaved head and slightly pockmarked cheeks, has a shining United States Marine Corps pin attached to his uniform.

This is a reminder of several trips made to the US, where he received training in Georgia and Quantico, Virginia, he told journalists in an interview this week.

The American media cites the State Department as saying he attended an English-language instructor course in Texas from August 2004 to February 2005 and again in 2007.

He also completed intelligence training in Arizona in 2008, and infantry officer training in Georgia for five months in 2010.

Sanogo told journalists in Bamako he has attended several international military summits, including one on counter-terrorism in Morocco.

Washington, which along with Paris has injected huge support into training Mali's soldiers to combat terrorism and drug trafficking in the Sahara, was among the first to condemn the coup and demand a return to constitutional order.

A day after the coup, rumours swirled in Bamako and on social networking sites that Sanogo had been killed and there had been a counter-attack by loyalist troops.

He went on television, saying: "I am Captain Sanogo and I am in good health, all is well."

People who have met with Sanogo since the coup describe him as an "attentive" listener. However, one diplomat said he appears not to take decisions unilaterally, preferring to consult with other members of the junta.

One of his colleagues says he once heard Sanogo say that if he was ever in politics he would be "a leftist".

Friends say he is a ladies man with several children who likes a good party, football and sports.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Peter Kenneth will not run for Pr...

He clarified that he will not run for Presidency in 2017 as he supports Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Exams should not have political g...

He also said that school properties must not ‘carry any political portraits’. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Matatu crew drugs female passenge...

Hours after the story was circulated on social media Sunday, the crew was traced at Dagoretti and arrested. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
How to get rid of cellulite at ho...

Proper diets and a healthy lifestyle are among the most effective natural remedies for cellulite. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Peter Kenneth is not a good leade...

A local activist has slammed the former Presidential candidate Peter Kenneth for only appearing during elections but going underground when the country has problems.  Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Javelin champion Julius Yego invo...

He is undergoing treatment at the Medihill hospital in Eldoret. Read more...