Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has tendered his resignation hours after mutiny soldiers arrested and detained him and his prime minister, Boubou Cisse.
The news of President Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators on Wednesday, while leaders of the military coup said they would enact a political transition and stage elections within a “reasonable time”, reports aljazeera.
Keita announced his decision to step down in a brief address on national broadcaster ORTM at around midnight, stating that his resignation – three years before his final term was due to end – was effective immediately.
He also declared the dissolution of his cabinet and the National Assembly.
“If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice? I wish no blood to be shed to keep me in power,” he said.
“I have decided to step down from office.”
However, hours later after Keita resigned, the mutiny soldiers who referred themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, appeared on state television and pledge support to stabilize the country.
“We are not holding on to power, but we are holding on to the stability of the country,” said Ismail Wague, Mali Air Force’s deputy chief of staff.
“This will allow us to organize within an agreed reasonable time frame, general elections to equip Mali with strong institutions, which are able to better manage our everyday lives and restore confidence between the government and the governed.”
However, the United Nations, France and other international organizations have condemned President Keita’s detention, but many of the protesters who first took to the streets back in June to demand his resignation, applauded the soldiers’ actions.
“All the Malian people are tired – we have had enough,” one of the protester said.