Attempted coup in Mali comes amid tensions with France FILE PHOTO: Malian soldiers patrol during the August 2020 coup against president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, near Bamako. © Stringer / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A group of Malian officers attempted a coup last week with the help of a Western state, the government in Bamako has announced. While the military government did not name the alleged foreign culprit, the announcement comes amid the ongoing deterioration of relations with Mali’s former colonial ruler, France.

“A small group of anti-progressive Malian officers and non-commissioned officers attempted a coup on the night of May 11-12, 2022,” government spokesman Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga said on national TV on Monday evening. “These soldiers were supported by a Western state. The attempt failed thanks to the vigilance and professionalism of Mali’s defense and security forces.”

The government denounced the “outrageous attack on state security, the purpose of which is to hinder — or even annihilate — the substantial efforts to secure our country and return to a constitutional order that guarantees peace and stability” in Mali, but offered few details of the alleged plot.

One anonymous military source told Al-Jazeera that about 10 people have been arrested so far. The government has confirmed that security at checkpoints around the capital has been increased in an effort to catch accomplices that may still be at large. (RT)