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Update; Malians wonder what has changed since coup

More than a week has elapsed since rebel soldiers toppled Mali’s president, sending shockwaves around West Africa and in France, its staunch ally.

But in Bamako, many Malians see little change. Life still flows onward, like the eternal Niger river that rolls through their capital.

“I challenge you to find a single thing that’s different, apart from the curfew,” Abdoulaye Sidibe, who runs a small shop, said with a laugh.

Little stores like Sidibe’s are myriad in Bamako. They sell everything, from eggs and bread and soda to tiny amounts of rice, drawn from 50-kilogramme (110-pound) sacks.

In the district of Torokorobougou, Children pass through the streets to buy the food for the evening meal, and elderly retired men sip tea and discuss politics. A mobile tailor passes by on a bicycle, snapping his scissors to declare his services for anyone needing a quick patch or hem.

The August 18 coup came after waves of protests demanding the resignation of 75-year-old President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, floundering in a sea of problems from jihadist bloodshed to a sinking economy.

Since then, his supporters have kept a low profile and the June 5 Movement, which clamoured for his downfall, has promised to “work” with the junta for the return of civilian rule.

The only major change has been a curfew, enforced from midnight to five a.m.
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