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Mali's President Announces His Resignation After Being Arrested In A Military Coup

Mali's President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, announced his immediate resignation on state television late Tuesday, hours after he and the Prime Minister were arrested by mutinous soldiers in a coup. 

The event on Tuesday sparked international condemnation and are likely to further destabilize the West African nation,following months of anti-government mass protests and a rising insurgency from Islamist militants. 

Wearing a blue surgical mask amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the President said on national broadcaster ORTM that he had little choice but to stand down to avoid bloodshed,and that the country's national assembly and government would now be dissolved. 

"For seven years I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country back on its feet", 

" If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I don't want any blood to be shed." Keita said. 

Today,Wednesday morning, the military leaders behind the coup - a group who identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of People (CNSP) - addressed the nation promising a political transition, elections within a "reasonable time", and a national curfew. 

Colonel Major Ismael Wague,a spokesperson for CNSP,announced that as of Wednesday, all air and land borders would be closed " until further notice" and a national curfew would be imposed from 9pm to 5am local time. 

"Civil society and socio-political movements are invited to join us in order ,together, to create the best conditions for a civil political transition leading to credible regional elections for the democratic exercise through a roadmap that will lay the foundations for a new Mali," said Wague. 

The military leader listed multiple charges against Keita's leadership, including allegations of corruption and failure to deal with long-running extremist insurgency. 

Wague said that the CNSP is "not keen on power, but we are keen on the stability of the country which allow us to organize general elections within a reasonable timeframe to allow Mali to equip itself with strong institutions capable to managing as well as possible. Our daily lives and restore trust between governments and governed." 

Troops arrested the President and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse in a coup earlier on Tuesday, according to the chairman of the African Union Commission. 

It followed reports of an attempted mutiny that morning at a military camp 15km(9.3 miles) outside of the capital Bamako. 

Earlier in the day,Cisse had posted a plea to troops on Facebook, asking the military to put down its arms and engage in dialogue. 

"The government calls for reason and a patriotic sense and asks for the use of arms to be stopped. There are no problems that cannot be solved in a dialogue," the Prime Minister wrote,in a statement that appears to have been posted before his reported detention. 

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the situation on Wednesday.

Source : CNN

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