Mali wakes up to military rule after President is forced out

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Boubacar Keita says he resigned to keep away from bloodshed.

Mali awoke on Wednesday to a brand new chapter in its troubled historical past after insurgent army leaders pressured President Boubacar Keita from workplace, prompting its West African neighbours to threaten border closures and sanctions towards the coup leaders.

Mr. Keita, embattled by months of protests over financial stagnation, corruption and a brutal Islamist insurgency, mentioned he had resigned to keep away from bloodshed.

There have been few apparent traces of the day before today’s drama within the capital Bamako — there have been no troops on the streets regardless of the coup leaders asserting a night-time curfew.

The burnt-out residence of the previous Justice Minister after an assault by protesters was one of many few seen indicators of the overthrow.

UN seeks Keita’s launch

Jubilant crowds had cheered the rebels on Tuesday as they arrived in Bamako, the place they detained Mr. Keita together with Prime Minister Boubou Cisse.

UN Secretary Common Antonio Guterres demanded the “instant and unconditional launch” of each males as diplomats in New York mentioned the Safety Council would maintain emergency talks on Wednesday.

It was unclear whether or not Mr. Keita was nonetheless in custody on Wednesday on the Kati army base — a facility seized by the mutineers that was additionally the positioning of the 2012 coup that introduced him to energy.

The coup leaders appeared on tv in a single day to pledge a political transition and new elections inside a “cheap time”.

Malian Air Power deputy chief of workers Ismael Wague mentioned he and his fellow officers had “determined to take duty in entrance of the folks and of historical past”.

There have been no stories of casualties in the course of the army takeover however the coup leaders introduced a curfew and border closures, in impact sealing off the nation.

French President Emmanuel Macron was among the many first to sentence the mutiny, his workplace saying that he nonetheless supported mediation efforts by different West African states.

Mali is the cornerstone of French-led efforts to roll again jihadists within the Sahel, and its neighbours are anxious to keep away from the nation sliding into chaos.

Colonel Wague mentioned “all previous agreements” can be revered, together with Mali’s assist for anti-jihadist missions within the area.

“MINUSMA (the UN drive in Mali), (France’s) Barkhane drive, the G5 Sahel, Takuba (a European special-forces initiative) stay our companions,” he mentioned.

The coup leaders additionally stay “dedicated to the Algiers course of,” a 2015 peace settlement between the Malian authorities and armed teams within the north of the nation, he mentioned.

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