Since a coup in 2020 in which democratically-elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was overthrown, Mali has been ruled by a military junta, led by Col. Assimi Goita, who has had himself appointed president. The military regime has said it will govern in the transitional period until elections are held in 2024.
In recent weeks the junta has reduced the presence of foreign troops assisting its fight against extremist rebels. The government withdrew Mali from the G5 Sahel alliance, composed of five neighboring countries working together to battle jihadi violence, and asked a French and European military force fighting extremists to leave the country.
Attacks have circled the capital as the French military, in Mali since 2013, withdraws. Mali has enlisted support from the Russian mercenary outfit, the Wagner Group.