This particular coup seems to have been provoked by a Tuareg revolt in the north,which the (now apparently ousted) President failed to respond to adequately. The Tuareg revolt periodically, but this one has occupied considerable territory and apparently the Army felt their honor besmirched.
|MNLA Emblem (Wikipedia)|
Beyond the fact that the Tuareg are a Berber (Amazigh)-speaking people, speaking a language known as Tamasheq, what merits a mention of Mali here is that many of the Tuareg supporting the revolt are said to be tribesmen who formerly fought to support the lat Mu‘ammar Qadhafi in Libya. Qadhafi recruited not only Libyan Tuareg but Tuareg from Mali and Niger as well; on his defeat, these crossed into northern Niger, reportedly well-armed and equipped; the Malians among them eventually made their way home. They seem to provide many of the arms for the MNLA, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, The group seeks independence for Azawad.
It's too early to know the implications of the coup for the Tuareg revolt, In another Middle Eastern resonance, however, the Mali government has of course invoked al-Qa‘ida to characterize their enemy, claiming that the MNLA is allied with al-Qa‘ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a charge the MNLA strongly denies. The jury seems to be out on the relationship, but AQIM certainly has operated in northern Mali.
So Colonel Qadhafi, though dead these five months, is still making trouble in continent of which he once declared himself king; some, like this Economist article, go even farther and link the outflow o former Libyan arms to issues much farther afield, like the Boko Haram in Nigeria. link
Qadhafi: still dead, and still a troublemaker..