Mali president and Prime Minister detained by Military

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were detained by mutinying soldiers on Tuesday night, worsening a national crisis in a country already grappling with a jihadist insurgency and mass protests. 

Other top government officials were also taken into custody.

The dramatic escalation capped off a day of political chaos in Mali, where the U.N. and former colonizer France have spent more than seven years trying to stabilize the country since a 2012 coup allowed an Islamic insurgency to take hold in the West African nation.

The unrest kicked off earlier in the day in the garrison town of Kati, where the previous coup had originated under similar circumstances eight years earlier. The soldiers took weapons from the armory at the barracks, and the ..

What happened?
Earlier on Tuesday, soldiers took up arms at the military base in Kati, a town 15 kilometers (nine miles) from Bamako, and began arresting senior military officers and civil servants.

Earlier on Tuesday several high-ranking politicians and officials were arrested, including the Minister of Finance Abdoulaye Daffe and the chief of staff of the National Guard. State broadcaster ORTM was evacuated and later went offline, reported Reuters.

What has been the reaction?
The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, tweeted that he strongly condemned the arrest of Keita and Cisse and called for their release.

West African leaders lambasted a military mutiny in Mali on Tuesday, urging soldiers to return to their barracks as rising extremism threatens the region's stability.

The 15-nation bloc known as ECOWAS said it “vigorously condemns” the uprising, which started with gunshots at an army base and tactical vehicles rolling into the capital, Bamako.

ECOWAS “calls on the military to return to their positions without delay,” the regional bloc said in a statement.

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