Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has officially resigned from his post after reportedly being detained by a suspected coup.
Reports claim that both the Mali President and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were arrested by “mutinying soldiers,” and hours later, Keita was seen broadcasted on-air announcing his resignation.
Mali President steps down to avoid bloodshed
Per Aljazeera, President Keita’s announcement was televised around midnight on Tuesday. “Today, certain parts of the military have decided that intervention was necessary. Do I really have a choice? Because I do not wish blood to be shed,” the president was quoted.
It appears that events took place after the soldiers staged an attempted mutiny, with soldiers taking arms in Kati, which is close to Bamako. Civilian supporters of the soldiers, or the opposition protesters, were seen gathering in Bamako to show their support.
CNN reports that this happened after “months of anti-government mass protests and a rising insurgency from Islamist militants.”
Mali has reportedly been suffering in “a weeks-long” of political crisis. Protesters have taken it to the streets as they demand the step down of Keita.
The Mali President has been accused of “mishandling a worsening security situation” and the country’s economic collapse.
Soldiers behind the alleged coup addressed the nation
By Wednesday morning, reports have it that the soldiers behind the suspected coup identify themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of People (CNSP). They issued a televised address as well.
The Mali Air Force’s deputy chief of staff, Ismail Wague, was quoted saying: “We are not holding on to power but we are holding on to the stability of the country.”
He further announced that the borders will be closed and a curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. will be implemented. “With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness.”
Wague further addressed that the CNSP is “not keen on power.” Instead, they are:
“keen on the stability of the country which will allow us to organize general elections within a reasonable timeframe to allow Mali to equip itself with strong institutions capable of managing as well as possible. our daily lives and restore trust between governments and governed.”
Wague has also invited “Civil society and socio-political movements” to join them in creating the “best conditions for a civil political transition” that’ll lead to a “credible regional elections for the democratic exercise,” as they build the foundation for “a new Mali.”
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