Keita steps down as President of Mali

Mali – Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has stepped down from his position as the President of Mali.

In a televised statement, Keita said: “I would like at this precise moment, while thanking the Malian people for their support, warmth and affection throughout these long years, to inform you of my decision to step down from all my functions, from this very moment onward.”

His decision was announced just before midnight on Tuesday on Mali’s national TV station The Office of Radio and Television of Mali (ORTM). A banner was placed at the bottom of the television screen that already referred to him as the “outgoing president”.

This follows hours of gunshots fired into the air by army mutineers outside his private residence where he and the Prime Minister, Boubou Cisse, were detained by soldiers – a military coup d`etat which certain sources supposed were headed by Colonel Malik Diaw.

Hours later, a public address was given by the self-declared and newly created National Committee for the Salvation of the People, who are presumed to be behind the coup d`etat.

Spokesperson, Ismael Wague, stated the military intention is for a smooth civil political transition with general elections foreseen with a reasonable time frame.

The former president’s resignation – effective immediately- comes after months of opposition protests calling for him to be removed from office three years before the end of his final term.

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