Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has resigned hours after mutinying soldiers seized him from his home following months of mass protests against alleged corruption and worsening security in the West African country.
Since June, anti-government demonstrators with opponents of Keita, have led mass protests calling on him to resign over what they say are his failures to restore security and address corruption.
In a brief address on national broadcaster ORTM at around midnight, 75-year-old Keita announced his decision to step down three years before his final term was due to end – was effective immediately.
He also declared the dissolution of his government and the National Assembly.
On Wednesday, the news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by demonstrators, while leaders of the military coup said they would enact a political transition and stage elections within a “reasonable time”.
The soldiers behind the coup – calling themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People – appeared on state television in military fatigues, pledging to stabilise the country.
Mali Air Force’s deputy chief of staff, Ismail Wague said “we are not holding on to power but we are holding on to the stability of the country.”
Announcing borders were closed and a curfew was going into effect from 9pm to 5am Wague said that “with you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,”
Earlier, Keita and prime minister Boubou Cissé were taken to a military camp near the capital Bamako, drawing international condemnation.
In 2018, Keïta won a second term in elections, but there has been anger over corruption, the mismanagement of the economy and a dispute over legislative elections.
Uganda ‘To Begin Human Trials’ Of COVID-19 Vaccine
Uganda is set to start human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine starting in November as the country continues to fight against the pandemic.
The vaccine trials are a partnership exercise between Uganda’s Virus Research Institute and the United Kingdom’s Imperial College.
Uganda has recorded more than 7,000 coronavirus cases and 75 fatalies so far.
According to BBC, Monica Musenero who is the head of a presidential taskforce on epidemics is quoted as saying the first trial will be conducted on 10 Ugandans.
She added that if successful, a second trial will involve about 100 to 200 persons followed by a final trial of between 1,000 and 3,000 persons.
WFP Seeks Aid For South Sudan Flood Relief
Heavy seasonal rainfall, followed by devastating floods in South Sudan since June, have impacted more than 700,000 persons across the country. A large part of the nation is reported to be under water with the Nile River at its highest level in 50 years.
South Sudan was already in a precarious situation due to food shortages from an overwhelming locust infestation and a health crisis from the global coronavirus pandemic.
The World Food Programme (WFP) says it has been providing food assistance to more than half a million persons in South Sudan’s flood-affected areas as the threat of famine increases within the country.
A flood-displaced victim from Mathiang village says rains have destroyed everything, including houses, cattle, crops and sources of livelihood.
WFP spokesperson, Peter Smerdon says they are already under pressure in South Sudan because of conflict, high levels of displacement and, the added burden from flooding.
World Food Programme is now seeking to raise 58 million dollars to continue providing relief.
Libyans Protest Armed Militias In Tajoura City
Libyans have taken to the streets in the southeast of the capital Tripoli to protest against the presence of armed militias in the city of Tajoura.
Clashes broke out on Thursday between two militias loyal to the Tripoli-based and UN-recognized government of national accord. Militias used heavy weapons in a residential suburb that consequently resulted in the death of at least three persons. Several others were reported injured from the two camps and some private properties were damaged.
The United Nations support mission in the country had called for an urgent security reform on Friday as they reminded both parties of international humanitarian law obligations.
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