It appears a Coup D’Etat was underway in Mali. According to reports, mutinous soldiers stormed the country’s capital and arrested President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta the Prime Minister, Boubou Cisse. Other top officials of the government were also arrested by the rebel soldiers.
After being released from captivity, The President has now dissolved the parliament.
“I want no blood to be spilled to keep me in power,” he said. He’s also tendered his resignation.
“If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” said Mr. Keïta. “I hold no hatred towards anyone, my love of my country does not allow me to,” he also added. “May God save us.”
The story so far
The attempted coup d’etat is no isolated event. Over the months, the country has been plagued with series of protests both in small and large scales. Citizens repeatedly demanded a change in government in the face of harsh economic conditions.
Recall that President Buhari alongside other ECOWAS leaders had visited Mali in July in other to mediate and put an end to the crisis that rocked the country. However, the trip can be termed unsuccessful as protesters took to the streets shortly after, demanding President Kieta’s resignation.
protestors have begun to gather in Mali’s capital Bamako as they call for President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta to resign.
(Thousands have taken to the streets in recent months for a series of protests citing mismanagement of the economy & security situation) pic.twitter.com/IUx2aEbyOd
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) August 11, 2020
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Citizens blame the President for his lukewarm response to the fast-spreading Islamic insurgency that is gradually crippling economic activities.
The coronavirus pandemic and consequent lockdown further brought untold hardships on the people causing them to crack and take to the streets. Very quickly, the protests became violent. At least 11 persons lost their lives in clashes between security and the citizens.
According to DW, early on Tuesday, rebel troops marched from Kati, their army base which is approximately nine miles from the city’s capital Bamako. On reaching Bamako, they began arresting top government officials.
They also made their way up to the Presidential Villa to pick up the President, Prime Minister and other top members of his cabinet.
Meanwhile, citizens also took to the streets, cheering the soldiers on. “More and more people are gathering at Independence Square in support of the M5-RFP movement that wants to see the resignation of the president and the prime minister Boubou Cisse. They seem to support the military. But it remains unclear what the demands of the military are.” A DW correspondent reports.
Reactions to the attempted coup
The African Union on Tuesday condemned the arrest of the president and his prime minister, calling for their immediate release.
[Read] @_AfricanUnion Commission Chairperson @AUC_MoussaFaki strongly condemns the forced detention of the President of #Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the Prime Minister and other members of the Malian Government and calls for their immediate release.
@ https://t.co/r7wRg02Ppm pic.twitter.com/3bPY6FWzAV
— African Union (@_AfricanUnion) August 18, 2020
Vice President of the European Union Commission also tweeted: “The European Union condemns the attempted coup d’etat underway in Mali and rejects all unconstitutional change.” He added: “This can in no way be a response to the deep socio-political crisis that has hit Mali for several months.”
L’UE condamne fermement la tentative de coup d’Etat en cours au Mali et rejette tout changement anti-constitutionnel. Ceci ne peut en aucun cas être une réponse à la profonde crise socio-politique qui frappe le Mali depuis plusieurs mois #AUEU https://t.co/L8airgRjy3
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) August 18, 2020
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