Mali President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has resigned and dissolved his parliament, hours after mutinying soldiers detained him along with Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and other top officials from his government.
Keita announced his resignation in a brief address broadcast on state television hours after after soldiers carried out a mutiny on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.
Looking tired and wearing a surgical mask at a military base in Kati outside the capital Bamako where he had been detained, Keita said:
“If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” I want no blood to be spilled to keep me in power.”
Keita said that he has decided “to give up my duty from now on.” It is unclear if the military is now in charge of the country.
The dramatic development comes after several months of regular demonstrations calling for Keita to step down from power three years before his final term was due to end.
Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Bamako since June calling for Keita to resign over what they say are his failures to address worsening security and corruption.
On Tuesday morning, soldiers took over a huge army base outside the capital, Bamako. By afternoon, local news reported the soldiers had arrested Keita, Cissé, top government officials and all senior soldiers.
France and other international powers as well as the African Union denounced the mutiny, fearful that the fall of Keita could further destabilise the former French colony and West Africa’s entire Sahel region.
There was no immediate comment from the troops early Wednesday, who hailed from the same military barracks in Kati where an earlier coup originated more than eight years ago.
KanyiDaily gathered that the coup was led by Colonel Malick Diaw – deputy head of the Kati camp – and another commander, Gen Sadio Camara.