MALI: At gunpoint, Mali’s President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, resigned and dissolved parliament. Soldiers overthrew both Mali’s President and Prime Minister in an internationally condemned coup d’etat.
Shortly after, Colonel-Major Ismael Wague, spokesperson for the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, promised to restore stability to the small country. He also promised a transition to elections within a “reasonable” period.
Wague’s justification for the takeover is the claim that Mali’s leadership had failed to provide a proper functioning country. By his account, the country is in a condition of chaos and anarchy. Further, he warned that weakness of state authority doesn’t go with real democracy. A questionable assertion at best.
In a statement intended to reassure, Wague promised to respect international agreements and the presence of international forces. But in a more ominous sign, the nation’s borders are now closed and a curfew is in effect from 9pm to 5am. No casualties were reported due to the coup.
The Economic Community of West African States, a 15 nation regional bloc, suspended Mali from the organization. They also closed their borders with Mali. Separately, chairman of the African Union and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, condemned the coup as an “unconstitutional change of government.”
France, which has historic connects to West Africa, has not commented on the coup. However, the overthrow is seen as political blow to French President Emmanuel Macron. He has supported former President Keita in his search for improved relations with its former African colonies.