Opposition supporters at Independence Square in Bamako, Mali
Opposition supporters at Independence Square in Bamako, MaliReuters

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said on Tuesday night he was resigning and dissolving parliament, hours after mutinying soldiers detained him and top officials from his government.

"I want no blood to be spilled to keep me in power," he said in a brief address broadcast on state television, according to Reuters.

Soldiers detained Keita and the local prime minister earlier, after surrounding a residence and firing into the air in an apparent coup attempt.

The soldiers moved freely through the streets of Bamako, making it increasingly clear that they were in control of the capital city, according to The Associated Press.

There was no immediate comment from the troops, who hailed from the same military barracks in Kati where an earlier coup originated more than eight years ago.

African Union chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat condemned the "forced detention" of Malian leaders and called for their immediate release. He rejected "any attempt at the unconstitutional change of government."

The developments were also condemned by the United States, the United Nations, the regional bloc known as ECOWAS and France, which along with a UN peacekeeping mission has worked since 2013 to stabilize the West African nation.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sought "the immediate restoration of constitutional order and rule of law," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Tuesday's political upheaval threatened to further jeopardize security in Mali, where a 2012 coup allowed an Islamic insurgency to take hold amid a power vacuum.

News of Keita's detention was met with celebration throughout the capital by anti-government protesters who first took to the streets in June to demand that the president step down three years before the end of his final term.

Hours before Tuesday’s incident, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse urged the soldiers to put down their arms.

"There is no problem whose solution cannot be found through dialogue," he said in a communique quoted by AP.

Keita, who has tried to meet protesters' demands through a series of concessions since the demonstrations began, has also enjoyed broad support from France and other Western allies.

It was a troubling repeat of the events leading up to the 2012 coup, which unleashed years of chaos in Mali when the ensuing power vacuum allowed Islamic extremists to seize control of northern towns. A French-led military operation ousted the jihadists, but they merely regrouped and expanded their reach during Keita's presidency into central Mali.

Regional mediators have urged Keita to share power in a unity government, but those overtures were swiftly rejected by opposition leaders who said they would not stop short of Keita's ouster.