Crowds in Mali’s capital Bamako are still celebrating the arrest of the country’s President and prime minister. Mutinying soldiers escorted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime minister Cisse from the presidential palace. Mali Anti-government protesters targeted government buildings, setting the minister of justice’s private law office on fire.
The apparent coup follows weeks of demonstrations in the nation. Residents were calling for the President’s resignation over economic mismanagement and the failure to tackle jihadi insurgencies.
“He is never going to stay in power even if men accept it. We women are never going to accept it. He has been cursed by the Lord that is why the military stood up because of his deeds,” says a female protestor.
Liberation for the People.
The residents are happy because they can see that the former President wants to run away, and he is going to leave power. Residents are also delighted that Mali is starting to breathe and people are defending their rights.
“Today, even an atomic bomb cannot stop us. This coup is a great relief, and we pray that this is the end.”
A multitude of events have been organized to see the military giving their support today. The people abandoned their religious schedules and daily activities to be on the streets for the country. Gunshots that are not meant to kill but celebrate are heard everywhere in the nation. The apparent coup has sparked international condemnation.
Factors that led to The Mali Coup
There were earlier warning signs that something like this might happen in Mali. Some factors include Popular anger. Residents had taken to the streets many times before demanding the President stand down. They were protesting about the state of the economy, corruption, disputed parliamentary elections, and the country’s deteriorating security situation. Insecurity levels and ethnic wars in the country kept escalating, killing more than 500 civilians this year.
Mali had been fighting Islamist militants in the north of the country since 2012, but the insurgency is getting worse and spreading across the region. The soldiers also experienced anger about the security situation. More than 100 Malian soldiers were killed while battling the jihadists despite thousand troops and peacekeepers deployed. A strong opposition leader, the imam, has also contributed to the coup. Lastly, despite the fact that another coup occurred in 2012, this one was not new to the Malians.
What Does It Mean for Mali’s Future?
Former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced his resignation hours after being detained by armed soldiers. He made a statement saying he submits to the resignation because he does not wish any bloodshed to retain him in power. The coup leaders also appeared on television vowing a transition of power that would lead to fresh elections. At the same time, the President’s resignation was celebrated by those on the streets the international community condemned the takeover. ECOWAS a West Africa regional block pledged to close land and air borders to Mali as a result.
The military coup was launched from the same army base in 2012 toppling the other former President and sending the country into a period of chaos. This time around the people hope for a smoother transition of power, but it remains unclear about who the power will be handed to. This is the second coup in eight years for the nation; however, there are mixed consequences for the country. Therefore, a lot is at stake in terms of Mali’s stability as a country, security, and governance. Besides, there are so many issues affecting how the country is going to move forward over the next few days.