Mali's Accidental Dictator

Habibou Kouyate / AFP / Getty Images

Mali junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo speaks at the Kati Military camp, in a suburb of Bamako, March 22, 2012.

Under a sickle moon, a large man with dreadlocks, a sparkling purple cloak and white moccasins climbed the stairs of the house that has become Mali's new nerve center. He was a marabout — a West African holy man — summoned by the army captain everyone in Kati is now calling le President: Amadou Sanogo, 40, a career soldier whose improbable coup d'état has upturned one of Africa's more exemplary, if superficial, democracies. On this night he was seeking strength from the spirit world.

He needs all the help he can...

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