Mali’s president, premier arrested by mutinying soldiers

Earlier Tuesday, reports coming out of the landlocked West African nation said that multiple government officials and senior army officers had been detained in the capital Bamako and the nearby Kati military base, with unrest said to have been sparked by soldiers’ financial grievances.

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said on Tuesday he was resigning and dissolving parliament, hours after mutinying soldiers detained him and top officials from his government. 

“I want no blood to be spilled to keep me in power,” 

Mali has seen months of protests against alleged corruption and worsening security in the West African country where Islamist militants are active, and there have been calls for Keita to resign.

“Today, certain parts of the military have decided that intervention was necessary. Do I really have a choice? Because I do not wish blood to be shed,”

Keita said in a statement . 

It is also said that 15 member states had agreed to close their borders with Mali, suspend all financial flows to the country, and eject Mali from all of Ecowas’ decision-making bodies.

The 75-year-old President Keita has been in power since 2013 and won a second term in 2018 but has since lost favour with the now disgruntled population.

Last month the head of the African Union Commission urged calm, continued dialogue and negotiations for the diligent implementation of consensual solutions to preserve peace, stability, and social cohesion in Mali.

It is unclear if the military is now officially in charge of the country.