African Union has called on the Malian military to immediately release President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his Prime Minister, Boubou Cissé who were earlier arrested and detained by soldiers in the West African country.
Naija News had reported earlier that Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and his Prime Minister, Boubou Cissé, were “arrested” late Tuesday afternoon in Bamako by mutiny Soldiers supporting the opposition.
“We can tell you that the president and prime ministers are under our control. We arrested them at his home ” (at the home of the Head of State), said a soldier, who requested anonymity.
“IBK (President Keita) and his Prime Minister are in an armoured vehicle on their way to Kati”, the military camp on the outskirts of Bamako where the mutiny began in the morning, said another military source in the mutineer camp.
Moments after the news of President Keïta’s arrest went viral, a video showing the moment Mali President was arrested emerged on social media.
Shortly after this, another video emerged, showing the moment Mali’s Presidential Villa was taken over by young protesters following President Keita’s arrest by the soldiers of the Milian Army. In the video, the apparently excited young Malians could be seen playing inside the swimming pool at the Malian Presidential Villa.
Reacting to the development, African Union Commission’s Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat in a series of tweets, condemned the Mali President’s arrest.
“I energetically condemn the arrest of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the prime minister and other members of the Malian government and call for their immediate liberation.
“I strongly condemn any attempt at anti-constitutional change and call on the mutineers to cease all use of violence and respect for republican institutions”, he tweeted.
1/3:Je condamne énergiquement l’arrestation du President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, le Premier Ministre et autres membres du Gouvernement maliens et appelle à leur libération immédiate. #Mali
— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) August 18, 2020
The call by the African Union came after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation led by former President Goodluck Jonathan had attributed the crisis bedevilling the country to governance.
This online news platform understands that a mutiny is a form of rebellion, mostly by the military against the authorities.
Two security sources informed Reuters about the development on Tuesday. “Soldiers had earlier in the day mutinied at the Kati military base about 15 km (9 miles) outside of Bamako and rounded up a number of senior civilian and military officials”, the source told Reuters.
Meanwhile, prior to his arrest, the Malian Prime minister had in a statement, urged the perpetrators to stand down.
“The Government of the Republic of Mali is following with great attention the events that have been taking place since this morning in our country, especially in two military camps in the city of Bamako.
“There is no problem of which the solution cannot be found in dialogue,” he said in a statement.
Gunfire was reportedly shot at the army base outside the capital, Bamako, early in the morning. Like the AU, ECOWAS also urged the military to embrace dialogue.