Mali has been in a political crisis for months, and numerous terrorist groups are active in the African country. After a mutiny, the head of state and the prime minister have resigned and are also said to have been arrested. Find More.
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta has resigned after an attempted coup by the military. He announced his resignation early Wednesday morning in a speech broadcast live on television. On Tuesday, soldiers arrested Keita and members of his government in a mutiny. In his speech, he mentioned that he has decided to leave his post. Keita thanked the Malian people for their support over these long years and said that he does not want any blood to be spilled to keep him in power. He was wearing a mask as protection against coronavirus.
The head of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, strongly condemned the arrest of the president, heads of government and other members of the government. He called for her to be released immediately. He also condemned any attempt at unconstitutional change.
The leaders of the military coup promised to hold new elections in due time. Ismael Wague, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the leader of the mutiny, said on state television, “We, the patriotic forces of the National Committee for the Welfare of the People, have decided to take our responsibility to the people and to history”. At the same time, he promised that existing international treaties would be respected.
Background of the mutiny still unclear
The background of the mutiny has so far been unclear. In Bamako, according to the US embassy, there were reports of soldiers driving through the city and shooting in the air. There are also reports of protester gatherings in the city. Several Western embassies had previously warned of tensions and unrest and advised their citizens, especially in Bamako, to stay at home.
The international community condemned the mutiny. The West African Association of States, ECOWAS, called for the restoration of public order. They appealed that the military should return to their barracks immediately. They condemned the act by stating that every change of government that does not conform to the constitution of the country must be condemned.
France reaffirmed its full attachment to Malian sovereignty and democracy while condemning the military coup. The French authorities informed that they are following the developments in Mali closely.
Mali has been in crisis for months
Mali has been in a political crisis for months. The opposition in the country is calling for President Keïta to resign. Its popularity had plummeted amid allegations of corruption and election rigging. He is also criticized for failing to act upon the threat posed by Islamist terror under control. Recently there have been repeated large scale and sometimes violent protests in the country. ECOWAS then tried to mediate between Keïta and the leader of the protest movement, Imam Mahmoud Dicko.
A spokesman for the opposition alliance M5-RFP said the arrest of the President, named after his initials IBK, was not a military coup, but a popular uprising. According to him, the coup happened because IBK did not want to listen to its people and reacted to amendments with killing innocent citizens.
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Although the background to the mutiny is still unclear, many experts doubt that the opposition movement is behind it. According to them, the mutiny is likely to be driven by several factors that are more closely linked to the deteriorating military situation in central and northern Mali than to the current political crisis.