April 14, 2024

Bustan Daily

Trusted Source for Online News Publishing

Malian President, Ibrahim Keita, resigns

3 min read

Malian President on Wednesday said he was resigning
to avoid “ bloodshed ” , hours after his arrest by troops
in a sudden coup that followed a months – long political
crisis in the fragile West African nation .
Rebel soldiers detained Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and
Prime Minister Boubou Cisse on Tuesday afternoon and
drove the pair to a military base in the town of Kati ,
near the capital Bamako , which they had seized that
morning .
Jubilant crowds in the city centre , gathered to demand
Keita ’ s resignation , had cheered the rebels as they
made their way to the 75 – year – old ’ s official residence . Keita appeared calm as he appeared in a state
television broadcast after midnight to declare the
dissolution of the government and national assembly ,
and said he had no choice but to resign with
immediate effect.
“ If it pleased certain elements of our military to decide
this should end with their intervention, do I really
have a choice ?” he said of the day ’ s events .
“( I must ) submit to it , because I don ’ t want any
bloodshed . ”
It was unclear whether Keita was still in custody at the
Kati base, which in a twist of fate was also the site of
the 2012 putsch that brought him to power .
Neighbouring states , France and the European Union
all warned against any unconstitutional transfer of
power as the coup played out on Tuesday .
UN Secretary – General Antonio Guterres demanded the
“ immediate and unconditional release ” of Keita and
Cisse as diplomats in New York said the Security
Council would hold emergency talks on Wednesday .
The Economic Community for West African States
( ECOWAS ) condemned the coup in a statement ,
pledging to close land and air borders to Mali and
push for sanctions against “ all the putschists and their
partners and collaborators” .
The 15 – nation bloc — which includes Mali — also said
that it would suspend the country from its internal
decision – making bodies.
unfolded, the United States and France released
separate statements voicing deep concern about the
turn of events and urged against regime change .
French President Emmanuel Macron had also discussed
the crisis with his counterparts in Nigeria , Ivory Coast
and Senegal and expressed his “ full support for the
ongoing mediation efforts of West African states ” .
His office had added that he “ condemned ” the mutiny . Keita and Cisse ’ s sudden detention came on the heels
of an apparently conciliatory message from the
government in Bamako — which had urged the
soldiers to engage in dialogue .The observed shifts in mood reflect a certain
frustration that may have legitimate causes, ” Cisse’ s
office said in a statement , without offering further
details .
It added that the government was open to “ fraternal
dialogue in order to remove all misunderstandings ” .
The drama coincided with opposition plans to resume
protests against Keita .
Mali had been in the grip of a deep political impasse
since June , and Keita had faced increasingly strident
demands for his resignation .
The June 5 Movement, named for the date of its first
protest, has channelled deep anger over a dire
economy , perceived government corruption and a
brutal jihadist conflict .
The opposition alliance ’ s anti – Keita campaign veered
into crisis last month when at least 11 people were
killed over three days of unrest that followed a
demonstration .
– Rising tensions –
Mali is the linchpin of French – led efforts to roll back
jihadists in the Sahel , and its neighbours are anxious to
avoid the country sliding into chaos .
Swathes of its territory are already outside of the
control of the government , which is struggling to
contain an Islamist insurgency that first emerged in
2012 and has claimed thousands of lives.
The failure to end that conflict fuelled frustrations with
Keita ’ s rule , analysts say .
Tensions flared in April when the government held a
long – delayed parliamentary election , the results of
which are still disputed .
ECOWAS last month suggested the formation of a unity
government while sticking by Keita , but the
compromise was bluntly rejected by the opposition .

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