Tension in Mali as Soldiers arrest President, Prime Minister

Tension in Mali as Soldiers arrest President, Prime Minister

There has been aggravated tension in Mali as soldiers arrest the country’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse.

Amidst the tension there are scenes of thousands of citizens cheering the ouster.

Earlier today, Soldiers in Kati town are arresting senior military officers.

Tanks and military vehicles are moving round the streets of Kati, 15 kilometers from the capital, Bamako.

Government workers in the nearby capital of Bamako are evacuating.

“Arrests are being made of officials. It’s total confusion,” an officer at Mali’s Ministry of Internal Security, told journalists.

Following the arrest of the President Crowds are jubilating at Independence Square in Bamako, Mali, and other places.

For nearly three months, demonstrations demanding for Keita’s resignation were held.

Dozens lost their lives, a situation that worsened the crisis.

Keita’s removal comes amid the intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Leaders met late July but failed to achieve a truce.

ECOWAS insists it could no order a sitting president to vacate office.

Earlier today, President Muhammadu Buhari received his immediate predecessor in office, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, at State House, Abuja.

The President, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, advised Dr Jonathan on further consultations with the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.

Dr Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to the Republic of Mali, briefed Buhari on the political situation in the West African country, as corollary to efforts by West African leaders to restore stability to the country.

Buhari and four other ECOWAS leaders had visited Bamako, Mali, last month, followed by a virtual extraordinary summit of the sub-regional body.

Dr Jonathan, who was in Mali from Monday to Thursday, last week, recounted his meetings with the stakeholders, including political and religious leaders, Ambassadors of US, France, Russia, Germany, European Union, and other important personalities key to peace and cohesion in the country.

The main opposition group, M5, he said, continued to insist on the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a position not acceptable to ECOWAS, which insisted only on democratic process in change of power within its jurisdiction.

“We told them that no international organization, including the African Union (AU), United Nations (UN), and others, would agree with their position. We continued to emphasize the need for dialogue,” former President Jonathan stressed.

He added that the Constitutional Court had been reconstituted and inaugurated, while vacancies in the Supreme Court had been filled, thus sorting out the judicial arm of government.

He thanked Dr Jonathan for what he called “the stamina you have displayed” on the Mali issue.

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