Mali president resigns after military coup
By Our reporter
Aug. 19, 2020 - Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has announced his resignation on live television in the early hours of Wednesday morning following a military coup.
Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were arrested by the military after a mutiny on Tuesday, following months of street protests in the volatile West African state, which is also battling an Islamic insurgency.
Soldiers started to mutiny early Tuesday in the garrison town of Kati, 15 kilometres north-west of Bamako. Gunfire was heard in the capital.
Before its leaders were detained, the government had released a statement calling for calm, admitting that soldiers might have legitimate frustrations and saying they were prepared to engage in a dialogue.
The coup comes after several weeks of political tensions and repeated anti-government protests during which talks between the government and the opposition, which is led by popular cleric Mahmoud Dicko, a former ally of Keita, failed.
A coup in Mali in 2012 was carried out by soldiers from the same barracks.
Political instability in Mali is seen as a dangerous development for the entire Sahel region, which already faces ongoing threats from numerous terrorist and separatist groups
Thousand Malians have however taken to the streets, with people firing into the air in celebration.
There have been strong condemnation of the coup from the United Nations, the African Union, European Union and other world leaders and world bodies