Soldiers who staged a military coup in Mali leading to the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and his government on Wednesday said they plan to form a civilian transitional government that will organize fresh elections.
In a statement broadcast on state-owned television early on Wednesday, a spokesman for the mutineers calling themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People said they had decided to act to prevent Mali from falling further into chaos.
Flanked by soldiers, committee spokesman Colonel Ismael Wague invited Mali’s civil society and political movements to join them to create conditions for a political transition that would lead to elections.
“Our country is sinking into chaos, anarchy, and insecurity mostly due to the fault of the people who are in charge of its destiny,” he said.
Keita resigned and dissolved parliament late on Tuesday hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, plunging a country already facing a jihadist insurgency and mass protests deeper into crisis.
The military coup has been condemned by Mali’s regional and international partners who fear Keita’s fall could further destabilize the former French colony and West Africa’s entire Sahel region.
Meanwhile, Mali’s military leaders have ordered the closure of all border crossings and imposed a night-time curfew, according to an announcement by Malian Air Force deputy chief of staff.
“As of today, 19 August 2020, all air and land borders are closed until further notice. A curfew is in place from 9 pm to 5 am [local time] until further notice,” Col-Major Ismaël Wagué said in a televised address.