Malian President, Ibrahim Keita, announced Wednesday that he is resigning from his post to avoid “bloodshed”, hours after his arrest by troops in a sudden coup that followed a months-long political crisis in the fragile West African nation.
A coup in 2020?
You're not the only one surprised. In what looked like a climax of political tensions in the West African nation, rebel soldiers had detained the President and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse on Tuesday afternoon and drove the pair to a military base in the town of Kati, near the capital Bamako, which they had seized that morning.
So the military is in charge now?
It is unclear if the military is now officially in charge of the country as Keita appeared calm while in a state television broadcast after midnight to declare the dissolution of the government and national assembly. Jubilant crowds in the city centre, gathered to demand Keita’s resignation, had cheered the rebels as they made their way to the 75-year-old’s official residence.
The President, while addressing the nation after his arrest by the soldiers, said he had no choice but to resign with immediate effect. It was also unclear at the point of the report whether Keita was still in custody at the Kati base, which in a twist of fate, was also the site of the 2012 putsch that brought him to power.
What are observers saying?
While citizens are split between those who support the development and those against it, international observers have condemned it as unconstitutional. France and the European Union warned against any unconstitutional transfer of power as the coup played out on Tuesday. UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, demanded the “immediate and unconditional release” of Keita and Cisse as diplomats in New York said the Security Council would hold emergency talks on Wednesday.
What's the reaction from other African leaders?
Leaders from across the continent have also condemned the development, and called for a restoration of democratic rule. The Economic Community for West African States, ECOWAS, condemned the coup in a statement, pledging to close land and air borders to Mali and push for sanctions against “all the putschists and their partners and collaborators”. The 15-nation bloc — which includes Mali — also said that it would suspend the country from its internal decision-making bodies.
In a later development, the rebel soldiers assured citizens of fresh elections to resolve the spiralling political crisis in the fragile West African nation. SOURCE