Mali: Arrests of President and Prime Minister Suggest Successful Military Takeover

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali, addresses the general debate of the 74th session General Assembly (file photo).
18 August 2020

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Prime Minister Prime Minister Boubou Cisse are now arrested, say reports from France24 and Reuters. Earlier journalists in Bamako had told AllAfrica that the president of the national assembly, Moussa Timbiné, and Finance Minister Abdoulaye Daffe were kidnapped, while President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita's Karim, and five other ministers were arrested.

Cisse had earlier called for mutineers to stand down and urged dialogue to resolve the situation, according to Thomson Reuters.

Our French team in Dakar had also been told by sources based in Bamako that senior military officials were arrested, and that a colonel of the National Guard is at the head of the mutineers.

A DW report said sources told them that the coup leader could be Colonel Sadio Camara.

Initial news of gunfire being heard on Tuesday at an army base outside Bamako, as well as the Embassy of Norway in the capital city saying a possible military mutiny is under way, was reported by Reuters.

The Reuters report quotes the embassy's alert to Norwegian citizens: "The embassy has been notified of a mutiny in the Armed Forces and troops are on their way to Bamako. Norwegians should exercise caution and preferably stay at home until the situation is clear".

The army base is in Kati, outside Bamako, where a mutiny in 2012 led to a coup d'etat, although details are unclear.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has had to contend with mass protests calling for his resignation since June over what demonstrators say are his failures to restore security and address corruption.

At least 14 people have been killed in the protests, according to Human Rights Watch.

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