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    Mali’s president steps down after coup d’état

    Credit: Belga

    Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta announced his resignation on national television on Tuesday night.

    The president was arrested on Tuesday by rebel soldiers, some of whom then fraternised with demonstrators who have been calling for months for the departure of the head of state. Prime Minister Boubou Cissé was also arrested.

    Within a few hours, the mutiny that broke out in the morning in the garrison of Kati turned into an attempted coup d’état, condemned by the international community.

    The soldiers behind the coup said they were “not holding on to power but we are holding on to the stability of the country,” according to Al Jazeera.

    Addressing the people of Mali and soldiers of all ranks, he said he had worked since his election in 2013 to turn the country around and “give body and life” to the Malian army.

    He then referred to the “various demonstrations” that have been calling for his departure for several months, claiming that “the worst has been the result.”

    The president felt “no choice but to submit” to the calls for resignation “because I do not want any blood to be shed” by staying in power.

    “I would like at this precise moment, while thanking the Malian people for their support throughout these long years and the warmth of their affection, to tell you my decision to leave my functions, all my functions, from this moment on,” Keïta said in an address broadcast by national television ORTM.

    “And with all the consequences of law: the dissolution of the national assembly and the government,” he added.

    The Brussels Times