A military coup is underway in the West African country of Mali, as amid an armed uprising defected soldiers have “arrested” President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, according to the breaking AFP report.
Soldiers were seen storming the president's residence in the evening hours Tuesday (local time), and the pair of leaders were reportedly transferred to a rebel military base near the capital of Bamako.
The mutiny is being condemned by the United States, France and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), after beginning earlier in the day at the Kati military base which lies 15 km outside Bamako.
Gunfire could be heard as chaos erupted, and a number of senior civilian government as well as military officials were detained in the mutiny.
Coup in progress in Mali to bring an end to the French-backed administration of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) August 18, 2020
The protesters whose movement led to the coup want the end of France's influence in the country. pic.twitter.com/BF43NcEIUi
Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse arrested by mutinying soldiers, according to media reports . A coup is underway in Mali right now 🇲🇱 pic.twitter.com/N1Y4cYKyem— MUGAMBO WA AFRICA , MBS . (@IanJamesMwai) August 18, 2020
The country had seen rolling mass protests since June over widespread allegations of corruption and a deteriorating security situation, in what some citizens have condemned as a sense of lawlessness due to corrupt security forces and officials tasked with overseeing them.