Embattled Mali President Amadou Keita has resigned and dissolved his government and the National Assembly.
Speaking on national television early Wednesday, Keita said he did not want any bloodshed and was left with no choice after a section of the armed forces decided to intervene in the country’s political crisis.
Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were arrested and detained at the Kati military base on Tuesday as Mali’s lingering political crisis escalated.
As the apparent coup makers, who were cheered on the streets by civilians, were expected to make an official announcement later in the day.
The military take over has been roundly condemned by the international community, from the UN, to the AU, EU, ECOWAS and Mali’s colonial power France.
Before Keita’s announcement ECOWAS, which had been negotiating peace in the country, said it was suspending Mali from all the regional body’s decision making organs.
It also announced sanctions against the coupists and the shutting of neighbouring member States’ borders against Mali.
ECOWAS reacts to coup that outcast president keita
Following the ongoing mutiny within the Malian Armed Forces, ECOWAS notes with great concern the seizure of power by the Malian military.
2. This seizure of power takes place in a context of difficult socio-political crisis. Indeed, ECOWAS recalls that it has been engaged in a mediation process for more than two months in order to find a solution to this crisis. Following this coup by the Malian putschist, which is likely to have a negative impact on peace and stability in Mali and in the sub-region, ECOWAS:
a) strongly condemns the overthrow by Malian soldiers of democratically elected government of President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita;
b) categorically denies any form of legitimacy (recognition) to the coup plotters and demands the immediate restoration of constitutional order;
c) remind the military of their responsibility for the safety and security of President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita and other arrested officials;
d) demands the immediate release of President Ibrahim Boubacar Kéita and all arrested officials;
e) suspendd Mali from all decision-making bodies of ECOWAS with immediate effect, in accordance with the Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, until the effective restoration of constitutional order;
f) decides on the closure of all land and air borders as well as stopping of all economic, commercial and financial flows and transactions between member countries of ECOWAS and Mali and invites all partners to do the same;
g) calls for the immediate ramp-up of the ECOWAS Standby Force;
h) calls for the immediate implementation of a set of sanctions against all putschists and their partners and collaborators;
i) decides to dispatch a high-level delegation to ensure the immediate return to constitutional order;
j) decides to remain seized of the situation in Mali.
Done in Abuja on 18th August 2020