The President of Mali, Mr. Ibrahim Keita has stepped down from his position as president.
This is coming after he was arrested by troops in a sudden coup that followed a months-long political crisis in the embattled West African nation.
He announced his resignation on Wednesday morning, saying that he took the decision to step down in order to avoid further bloodshed.
“If it pleased certain elements of our military to decide this should end with their intervention, do I really have a choice? (I must) submit to it, because I don’t want any bloodshed,” Keita said after showing up on state television after midnight to announce the dissolution of his cabinet and the national assembly.
Rebel soldiers detained Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse on Tuesday afternoon and drove the pair to a military base in the town of Kati, near the capital Bamako, which they had seized that morning.
Jubilant crowds in the city centre, gathered to demand Keita’s resignation, had cheered the rebels as they made their way to the 75-year-old’s official residence.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, also known as IBK, has been the President of Mali since 2013. He was Prime Minister of Mali from 1994 to 2000 and President of the National Assembly of Mali from 2002 to 2007. Keïta was a founding father of the centre-left political party Rally for Mali in 2001.