Mali military rebels pledges civilian transition within “reasonable time”

Order closure of border, imposes 9pm to 5am curfew

Mali’s military leaders who staged the coup d’etat that led to the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and his government have vowed to enact a political transition and stage elections within a “reasonable time”.

Keita had announced his resignation and the dissolution of the government and national assembly on ORTM state television shortly after midnight on Wednesday.

“If it pleased certain elements of our military to decide this should end with intervention, do I really have a choice?” Keita said, adding he would “submit to it, because I don’t want any bloodshed”.

Read Also: Malian President, Ibrahim Keita resigns after arrest by rebel soldiers

Spokesman for the rebels under the aegis of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) said in a state television broadcast that they “decided to take responsibility in front of the people and of history” to prevent Mali from falling further into chaos.

Ismael Wague, the Malian Air Force deputy chief of staff, flanked by other soldiers 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.

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.