The military leaders of Mali have conducted a coup, ousting President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from power.

The military had had enough: Government corruption, economic mismanagement, the ongoing coronavirus crisis, and the Islamic jihadists’ insurgency have paralyzed and decimated the country’s outlying areas. The military’s frustration was compounded by the poor bad and bad conditions it faces. For better or worse, it decided to act. 

The 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had sent a delegation to try to put together a unity government. But the military wasn’t waiting.

On Tuesday, troops surrounded Keita’s residence firing shots into the air. Keita and the prime minister, Boubou Cisse were soon detained along with other members of the cabinet. Several hours later Keita appeared on ORTM, to announce his resignation. A banner across the bottom of the television screen referred to him as the “outgoing president.”

Keita, wearing a mask to protect himself from the coronavirus, sounded like a man with very limited options. “I wish no blood to be shed to keep me in power,” Keita said. “I have decided to step down from office.”

“If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” Keita asked.

“I hold no hatred towards anyone, my love of my country does not allow me to,” he added. “May God save us.”

President Keita was democratically elected in a landslide campaign back in 2013. He was re-elected to a five-year term in 2018. But since then, his once surging popularity had plummeted. The citizens of Mali, disheartened by the deterioration of conditions in the country, had taken to the streets calling for his resignation.