Mali’s President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta announced early on Wednesday that he is resigning from his post saying that he does not wish blood to be shed following a military mutiny that plunged the country into a political crisis.
“Today, certain parts of the military have decided that intervention was necessary. Do I really have a choice? Because I do not wish blood to be shed,” Keita said in a brief statement that was broadcasted on national television.
It comes hours after he and Prime Minister Boubou Cissé were taken to a military camp near the capital Bamako, drawing condemnation from regional powers and France.
“If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” said Mr Keïta.
“I hold no hatred towards anyone, my love of my country does not allow me to,” he added. “May God save us.”
Earlier, the mutinying soldiers took control of the Kati camp.
There has been anger among troops about pay and over a continuing conflict with jihadists – as well as widespread discontent with the former president. Mr Keïta won a second term in elections in 2018, but there has been anger over corruption, the mismanagement of the economy and the rise of communal violence in areas of the country.
It has prompted several large protests in recent months. A new opposition coalition led by the conservative Imam, Mahmoud Dicko, has called for reforms after rejecting concessions from Mr Keïta, including the formation of a unity government.
It is unclear if the military is now officially in charge of the country.