France has echoed its concerns on the apparent military coup taking place in Mali and has called for the immediate release of the president and prime minister. Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were earlier on arrested by mutiny soldiers in what appears as a coup.
Reports claim troops fired gunfire shots at a military camp in Kati early Tuesday morning before marching into Bamako. The mutiny soldiers put up barricades on major roads and demanded everyone stay inside their homes, causing a complete shutdown. “We do not know what it means yet”, said a news reporter in Bamako referring to the unexpected army rebellion.
News of the apparent coup has not been received well by France. In a statement released by French Foreign Minister Jean Yvette Le Adrian, the former colonial power has appealed for all soldiers to return to barracks. Apart from France, ECOWAS and the African Union who have been tirelessly working to resolve the political crisis have also condemned the actions of the mutiny soldiers.
“I strongly condemn the arrest of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the Prime Minister and other members of the Malian government and call for their immediate release’, said AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamati. The coup comes months after the opposition movement led by Mahmoud Dicko has called for the resignation of President Keita and his entire administration.
Eventually, protests engulfed Mali, causing the death of a dozen citizens. Protesters blame President Keita for his incompetence in curtailing corruption, ethnic conflicts and economic downfall. Soldiers are seen patrolling the streets of Kati.