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Coup in progress in Mali, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and prime minister detained by mutinous soldiers

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Coup in progress in Mali to bring an end to the French-backed administration of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. The protesters whose movement led to the coup want the end of France’s influence in the country.

Rebel troops on Tuesday 18 Agust 2020 seized Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse in a dramatic escalation of a months-long crisis.

Neighbouring states in West Africa, along with France, the European Union and the African Union, condemned the sudden mutiny and warned against any unconstitutional change of power in the fragile country.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanded the “immediate and unconditional release” of Mr Keita and Mr Cisse as diplomats in New York said the Security Council would hold emergency talks on Wednesday.

“We can tell you that the president and the prime minister are under our control” after they were “arrested” at Mr Keita’s residence in the capital Bamako, a rebel leader, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

According to  Sbs.com,

Boubou Doucoure, who works as Mr Cisse’s director of communications, confirmed that the pair had been detained and had been driven in armoured vehicles to an army base in the town of Kati, about 15 kilometres away.

Mutineering troops had seized the base hours earlier before taking control of the surrounding streets and driving in convoy to the capital Bamako, according to an AFP journalist.

A 2012 putsch that opened the way to Mr Keita’s presidency began in the Kati base – and fears quickly grew of another coup attempt in the notoriously unstable country.

Jubilant crowds in the city centre, which had gathered to demand Mr Keita’s resignation, cheered the rebels as they made their way to the 75-year-old’s official residence.

As the day unfolded, the West Africa bloc ECOWAS, the United States and France released separate statements voicing deep concern about the turn of the events and urged against regime change.

 

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