The leaders behind the coup in Mali said during an address to the nation that they will hold democratic elections, as talks on the transition to civilian rule begin in the country this weekend.
The talks come after former president Ibraham Boubacar Keïta, who was arrested last month, was moved to a private hospital overnight, and at least 10 soldiers were killed in an attack overnight.
Ismaël Wague, a spokesperson for the coup leaders, claimed “political patronage, the family management of state affairs, have ended up killing and opportunity for development in what little remains of this beautiful country”. “Mismanagement, theft and bad governance have become virtues,” he added.
The coup has been widely criticized, and the African Union has suspended Mali, saying in a statement, “The African Union suspends Mali from the African Union until restoration of constitutional order and demands release of President Ibraham Boubacar Keïta, the Prime Minister and other government officials forcibly detained by the army”.
The European Union and the United States have all also condemned the coup, which came after two months of protests in the capital of Bamako. Four people were killed during the coup and 15 were wounded, according to hospital union representatives.
This weekend’s talks will take place with the military coup leaders, political parties, former rebels, unions, civil society organisations, media representatives and members of the diaspora.