Malian blogger arrested and released after humorously declaring himself president

A well-known Timbuktu radio host and blogger was arrested and detained 24 hours after proclaiming himself president of the country, which has been plugged for years in a serious security and political crisis, in a humorous video.
He announced himself Wednesday evening to have been released on his Facebook account.
“I take the firm decision to proclaim myself president of the civil transition as of tomorrow, February 28,” said Tandina Elhadj Beyt’allah in a video posted on Facebook on February 27, in which he appeared before the camera, wearing a scarf in Malian colors.
He solemnly invoked the seriousness of the situation in his country and “the lack of vision of our authorities. He waited until the end of this recording of less than two minutes to specify to the authorities of Timbuktu that “it is just a comedy”.
“Don’t send the police after me,” he concluded with a laugh.
The blogger was inspired by the recent declaration of a little-known personality, Ainea Ibrahim Camara, who has been in the news since the end of February when he declared himself president of the Malian “civil transition” from abroad.
The authorities, dominated by the colonels who took power by force in August 2020, have taken the matter seriously and opened an investigation against Ainea Ibrahim Camara. They call themselves “transitional,” awaiting a return to civilian rule at a date still unknown.
The authorities also took seriously the pastiche of Tandina Elhadj Beyt’allah, arrested on Tuesday.
“Tandina Elhadj Beyt’allah, a radio host who proclaimed himself president of Mali’s civilian transition, is in our custody for investigation,” a Timbuktu gendarmerie official confirmed Wednesday.
Another Timbuktu resident was in turn arrested for saying he was ready to be the Prime Minister of Tandina Elhadj Beyt’allah in a comment on his video, he added.
Tandina Elhadj Beyt’allah and his Live on social networks, as soon as an event occurs in Timbuktu, are very followed in Mali.
The DoniBlog community of bloggers was moved by his fate. It argued that he was not the first to make fun of Ainea Ibrahim Camara’s statement.
But, she added in a statement, the precision on the parodic character of his video was cut in a version that circulated on the Internet. A “manipulation” with unknown objectives, she said.
She denounced an “arbitrary” arrest and demanded his “immediate release”. A word-diary #freebeytallah had been launched.
In a climate of tension with part of the international community, the junta has been stubbornly insisting on national sovereignty in recent weeks and has multiplied messages on the need to support it.

About Geraldine Boechat 2137 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia