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Mali’s President Resigns Following Arrest After Military Coup

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali announces resignation
of announces resignation

Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has resigned hours after he and the nation’s Prime Minister were reportedly arrested by soldiers in a coup.

President Keita announced his resignation on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, as the events of that day attracted condemnation internationally.

The coup came after months of anti-government mass protests and rising insurgency from Islamic militants in the country.

Citizens protesting in Mali
Citizens protesting in

Addressing the nation, Keita said that he had little choice but to stand down in order to avoid bloodshed and that the country’s national assembly and government would now be dissolved.

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He said:

“For seven years I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country back on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I don’t want any blood to be shed.”

Military takeover in Mali
Military takeover in

On Wednesday morning, the military leaders behind the coup (a group who identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of People) spoke to citizens, promising a political transition, elections within a “reasonable time”, and a national curfew.

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A spokesperson for the CNSP, Colonel Major Ismael Wague, disclosed that as of Wednesday, August 19, 2020, all air and land borders would be closed “until further notice” and national curfew would be imposed from 9 pm to 5 am local time.

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His words:

“Civil society and socio-political movements are invited to join us in order, together, to create the best conditions for a civil political transition leading to credible regional elections for the democratic exercise, through a roadmap that will lay the foundations for a new Mali.”

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