Mali’s president steps down after soldiers’ mutiny
Keita has dissolved the National Assembly with three years left in his term.
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Tuesday resigned from his office, hours after armed soldiers detained him and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse amid a months-long political crisis in the nation, AP reported.
“I wish no blood to be shed to keep me in power,” Keita said. “I have decided to step down from office.”
Speaking on national broadcaster ORTM, Keita said his government and the National Assembly will be dissolved. The military has not officially made any statement and it remained unclear if it was now officially in charge of the country.
Keita had three more years left for his term to complete. He was first elected in 2013 and reelected in 2018 in a democratic manner.
The apparent coup came from the same barracks which had allowed the Islamic insurgency to take place in the nation, plunging the African country into turmoil. Keita’s support had fallen because of his handling of the insurgency. The mutiny that saw Keita losing power was led by Colonel Malick Diaw and Genenral Sadio Camara.
Protest against Keita had followed months after a disputed legislative election in 2018. Civilians were angry at the former president over charges of corruption and mismanagement of the economy, BBC reported. An Opposition coalition formed under the leadership of imam Mahmoud Dicko had called for reforms, including demanding a unity government to be constituted.
The ire of the troops also grew against Keita over a conflict with the jihadists, according to the TV channel.
On Tuesday, protestors had gathered at a square in Bamako, the nation’s capital, in a show of solidity for the soldiers, Al Jazeera reported.
The United Nations Security Council will hold a closed-door meeting to discuss the events. There are more than 1,500 peacekeeping forces stationed in the nation. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has sought “the immediate restoration of constitutional order and rule of law,” his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
The African Union and the United States have condemned the events that unfolded on Tuesday night. The Economic Community of West African States, a regional bloc, has announced that it will cut off all financial flow to the nation and remove Mali from the decision-making bodies of the bloc.
France, which had colonised the nation, urged the soldiers to go back to their barracks. Mali is a key location for the country in its fight against Islamist insurgents.