President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, have been arrested by soldiers in a mutiny.
It was reported that the mutiny was led by Col Malick Diaw the deputy head of the Kati camp – and another commander, Gen Sadio Camara.
One of the leaders of the soldiers, was quoted to have said “We can tell you that the president and the prime minister are under our control.”
He added that both of them had been “arrested” at Keita’s residence in the capital Bamako.
He also revealed that the president’s son, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the foreign and finance ministers are also being detained.
Reports have it that, there has been anger among troops about pay and over a continuing conflict with jihadists.
In what looked like a victory rally, the mutineers had marched on the capital, where they were cheered by crowds who had also gathered to demand President Keïtas’s resignation.
The international community has condemned the turn of events in Mali and the consequent arrests of top government functionaries.
In a statement released, The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said: “This mutiny comes at a time when, for several months now, Ecowas has been taking initiatives and conducting mediation efforts with all the Malian parties. We hereby call for the immediate release of all officials being held.”
The United Nations through its Secretary General António Guterres also demanded the “unconditional release” of Mali’s leaders and the “immediate restoration of constitutional order”.
In the same vein, The Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he “emphatically condemns the arrests of President Keïta and his prime minister”.
A statement also released by the office of French President Emmanuel Macron “condemned the attempted mutiny under way” while the French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian urged the soldiers to return to barracks.
The Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta who won a second term in elections in 2018 has been battling widespread criticism from Malian citizens. He has been accused of massive corruption, the mismanagement of the economy and worsening security situation which culminated into jihadist and communal violence.
Recently a popular Imam Mahmoud Dicko in Mali had led a huge protest calling on President Keïta to step down.
Also a resistance group M5, had also insisted that the constitutional court must be dissolved, while the president must resign, before peace can return to the country.