President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was ousted in a bloodless military coup in Mali, after being detained at gunpoint and being forced to resign and dissolve parliament late on Tuesday. The Malian soldiers responsible for the coup have promised to organize new elections.

A spokesman for the mutinous soldiers, who have dubbed themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, is led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué, who stated “With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” while also announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Anti-government demonstrators, who want to see the end of France’s influence in the country, celebrated in the streets of Bamako, the capital, while regional and international partners condemned the coup, fearing the president’s departure could further destabilize the country that is faced with an ongoing insurgency.

Wague called on Mali’s civil society and political movements to participate in the political transition.

“Our country is sinking into chaos, anarchy and insecurity mostly due to the fault of the people who are in charge of its destiny,” he said in a statement broadcast on state-owned television. “We are not keen on power, but we are keen on the stability of the country, which will allow us to organize general elections to allow Mali to equip itself with strong institutions within the reasonable time limit.”


Source: Petroleum Africa