Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse have been arrested by mutinying soldiers in the capital, Bamako, prompting opposition supporters to take to the streets in celebration.
Keita’s detention on Tuesday at his residence in southwestern Bamako followed hours of uncertainty after soldiers mutinied in the morning at the Kati military base outside the capital and rounded up a number of senior civilian officials and military officers.
Rumours earlier in the day that the mutineers had detained Keita prompted hundreds of anti-government demonstrators to pour into a central square in Bamako.
In power since 2013, the 75-year-old president has faced weeks of opposition protests calling for his departure after disputed parliamentary elections earlier this year.
Protesters accuse him of allowing the country’s weak economy to collapse and failing to address a worsening security situation, among other grievances.
Mali has been plagued by an eight-year conflict that began as a separatist movement in the north but soon devolved into a multitude of armed groups jockeying for control in the country’s central region.