MALI COUP: MUTINOUS SOLDIERS ARREST PRESIDENT KEITA AND PRIME MINISTER CISSE
Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse have been arrested by mutinying soldiers, cementing suspicions of an ongoing coup in the Sahel country.
Recall Eons Intelligence reported that in the early hours of Tuesday morning, soldiers took up arms in Soundiata Keïta camp in Kati, which is about 15 kilometres from the country's capital Bamako which houses one of the largest military strongholds in the country.
The Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS as well as the former colonial ruler France, have condemned the development urging the mutineers to return to the barracks.
"This mutiny comes at a time when, for several months now, ECOWAS has been taking initiatives and conducting mediation efforts with all the Malian parties," ECOWAS said.
Jean Yves Le Drian, France's Foreign Minister, described the development as "serious" but urged the soldiers to return to the barracks.
There has been ongoing intense agitation for a leadership change in Mali with the main opposition group M5's continued to insist on the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
However, ECOWAS insisted that a change in power would only be allowed through a democratic process.
The Élysée presidential palace in a statement released on Tuesday said French President Emmanuel Macron has called for mediation, adding that he has gotten in touch with the regional leaders.
The United States has also opposed a change of government in Mali, the State Department's special envoy for the Sahel region, J. Peter Pham, in a Tweet said: "The US is opposed to all unconstitutional changes of government whether in the streets or by security forces."