News ID: 273143
Published: 0232 GMT August 19, 2020

China says opposes regime change by force in Mali

China says opposes regime change by force in Mali
Malian soldiers are celebrated as they arrive at the Independence Square in Bamako, Mali, on August 18, 2020.

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the country opposes regime change by force, after Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint.

Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the comment at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Reuters reported.

Around midnight on Tuesday, Keita announced 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, according to

"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 broadcast on national television.

Keita added that he has decided "to give up my duty from now on”.

It is unclear if the military is now officially in charge of the country.

Earlier, Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were detained by soldiers in a dramatic escalation of a months-long crisis in the country.

The development came hours after soldiers took up arms and staged a mutiny at a key base in Kati, a town close to Bamako.

Like China, countries in West Africa, along with France, the European Union, the African Union and the United Nations, denounced the actions of the soldiers and warned against any unconstitutional change of power.

Russia has also expressed concern about the events in Mali.

The events came amid a weeks-long political crisis that has seen opposition protesters taking to the streets to demand the departure of Keita, accusing him of allowing the country's economy to collapse and mishandling a worsening security situation.

Mali's years-long conflict, in which armed groups have stoked ethnic tensions while jockeying for power, has spilled into the neighboring countries of Niger and Burkina Faso, destabilizing the wider Sahel region and creating a massive humanitarian crisis.

Earlier on Tuesday, opposition protesters gathered at a square in Bamako in a show of support for the soldiers, while foreign embassies advised their citizens to stay indoors.

On Wednesday, 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 stabilize the country.

"We are not holding on to power but we are holding on to the stability of the country," said Ismail Wague, Mali Air Force's deputy chief of staff.




Resource: Reuters
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