Against abysmal leaderships exhibited by West African nations of Nigeria, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire, the mutiny and arrest of Mali president and prime minister by soldierly patriots may well be the wake-up call for sitting despots of the twice betrayed and long pauperised region.
Mali coup: President and PM arrested by soldiers after mutiny
Holed up at Sebenikoro
“Heavily armed pick-ups from Bamako entered the Soundiata-Keita camp and the men on board fired into the air. There was retaliation from the soldiers present, who thought it was an attack,” a Malian officer told us, on condition of anonymity. The shooting had then ceased, but the mutiny had continued and strengthened.
In the middle of the day, several hundred young people had gathered in Independence Square, chanting slogans in favour of Kati’s mutineers.
The president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, had taken refuge in his Sebenikoro residence, accompanied by the prime minister, Boubou Cissé. Karim Keïta, deputy and son of the president, was also present.
At the end of the day, a crowd of demonstrators had gathered in front of the presidential residence. The government had then called for “reason and patriotism” and asked “to silence the guns”.
Several high-ranking officials in the hands of the mutineers
A few hours later, at 4.30 p.m. Bamako time, the mutineers then proceeded to arrest the president and his prime minister, who were taken away and escorted in their vehicles.
The Minister of Defence, Ibrahima Dahirou Dembélé, and several high-ranking officials are also in the hands of the mutineers and have been taken to the Kati camp.
Ecowas and the French presidency say they are monitoring the situation closely.