The former president and his prime minister were taken to Kati military camp into a large military convoy. Mr. Keïta was forced to resign into an appearance on state television.
“For seven years I had the happiness and the joy of trying to straighten out this country,” Mr. Keïta said from a curtained room, his words muffled by a surgical mask. “I don’t want any blood to be shed to keep me into my position.”
The coup leaders, who called themselves the National Commission for the People’s Salvation, made no direct reference to the protest movement, known as the June 5 Movement, that had led ballooning demonstrations over the past two months. The movement’s figurehead, a popular imam into Bamako, Mahmoud Dicko, has not yet spoken about the coup.
Mr. Wague said the military had acted “to prevent the country from sinking,” and called on the country’s civil society to help “create the best conditions for a civil political transition leading to credible general elections.” This would “lay the foundations for a new Mali,” he said.
But skeptical voices were already emerging around the pledges touting a new commitment to democracy into Mali.
“Our democracy was already sick, even very sick, and the recent events — of which the military coup is the only the culmination — are a final blow to what remains,” wrote Boubacar Sangaré, a journalist, into an editorial published Wednesday morning.
Bamako’s Independence Square, which had been the scene of jubilation as the military drove their captives through it on Tuesday, emptied out overnight. And by Wednesday morning it was crowded with typical, hooting traffic, although many banks and businesses were closed.