Namibia Joins Global Condemnation of Mali Coup

21 August 2020

Namibia has joined the rest of the world in condemning the coup d'état undertaken in the Republic of Mali on Tuesday by elements of the military.

The United Nations has also joined global condemnation of the military takeover in Mali, which saw President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita forced to resign.

The UN's Security Council echoed similar calls by regional bodies for the immediate release of all government officials and the restoration of constitutional order.

International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah on Wednesday said the coup d'état constitutes a violation of the principles of the African Union (AU) and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which call for the "condemnation and rejection of unconstitutional changes of governments". Moreover, she added the coup d'état is contrary to the African Union's solemn commitment of "Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020" as one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063.

"The Republic of Namibia aligns itself to the statements issued by both the Chair of the African Union and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission which reaffirms the African Union principle of the total rejection of unconstitutional change of power," she said.

"Namibia calls for an immediate restoration of democratic governance and constitutional order in the Republic of Mali and for an immediate release of all political leaders arbitrarily detained."

Similar condemnation choruses of disapproval included statements from the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the United States demanding that the military leaders release Keita, Prime Minister Boubou Cissé and other officials detained on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, elements of the Malian Armed Forces began a mutiny. Soldiers on pick-up trucks stormed the Soundiata military base in the town of Kati, where gunfire was exchanged before weapons were distributed from the armoury and senior officers arrested. Tanks and armoured vehicles were seen on the town's streets as well as military trucks heading for the capital, Bamako.

The soldiers detained several government officials, including Keita, who resigned and dissolved the government.

This is the country's second coup in less than 10 years, following the 2012 coup d'état.

This prompted Mali's president to announce his resignation and the dissolution of the national assembly on state television, shortly after he and the prime minister were arrested by mutinous soldiers in what the European Union described as an attempted coup.

Keita and Cissé were seized on Tuesday evening after a day of confusion and chaos in a country already facing a jihadist insurgency and mass protests.

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