Mali soldiers promise elections after coup d’etat
Soldiers who overthrew Mali’s president in a coup d’etat that drew international condemnation pledged on Wednesday to restore stability and oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” period.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned and dissolved parliament late on Tuesday, hours after the coup leaders detained him at gunpoint, plunging a country already facing an armed movement against it as well as mass opposition protests deeper into crisis.
Colonel-Major Ismael Wague – a spokesman for the coup-makers calling themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People – said they acted to prevent Mali from falling further into chaos.
“The social and political tension has undermined the proper functioning of the country for quite a while,” said Wague, flanked by soldiers.
“Mali descends into chaos day by day [with] anarchy and insecurity because of the fault of the people in charge of its destiny. Real democracy doesn’t go with complacency, nor weakness of the state authority, which must guarantee freedom and security of the people.”
Mali’s president resigns amid military mutiny (6:42)
There was no word on the future of Keita, 75.
No casualties were reported during the military takeover. Borders were closed and a curfew will go into effect from 9pm to 5am.
Wague said all international agreements will still be respected and international forces, including the UN mission in Mali and G5 Sahel, will remain in place “for the restoration of stability”.
The coup leaders also remain “committed to the Algiers process” – a 2015 peace agreement between the Malian government and armed groups in the north of the country, Wague said.