After a military coup, Mali’s President Ibrahim Keita resigned. His resignation follows months of unrest in the West African country and gives hope for greater stability. By Marta Portocarrero.
75-year old Mali’s President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, resigned after soldiers seized his home last night.
The news of his departure was received with jubilation by anti-government protesters, tired of the country’s endemic corruption and worsening security conditions.
Keita, in power since 2013, resigned three years short of his final term’s end. He also dissolved the government and the National Assembly.
What happens now?
Mali will now enter a military transition period until elections are held in a “reasonable time”.
Malian people, who first took to the streets in June, are supportive of the military, but there is no certainty they won’t hold on to power, similarly to the situation in Sudan last year.
The next months will be crucial to determine the future of Mali. If opposition forces can act in a coordinated way, Mali will move closer towards stability. If not, Keita’s departure could bring about more uncertainty.
Some quick background
In 2012, Keita’s predecessor Toumani Toure also resigned after a military coup.
Back then, the military was pivotal to eliminating armed groups in the north of the country. But, after groups have rejoined in central Mali during Keita’s presidency, critics doubt how effectively the military can stop them again.
The ongoing ethnic tensions in Mali – with some groups linked to ISIS – led to consecutive waves of violence, which spilled into the neighbouring countries of Niger and Burkina Faso and sparked a humanitarian crisis.
How to help
There are several NGOs working in Mali at the moment. They help people affected by the armed conflict by providing food and medical care.
They’re accepting donations: