Mali junta releases ousted president — after eight days in detention

Ebunoluwa Olafusi

Ousted President Ibrahim Keita, who has been detained by the military junta since August 18, has been released.

The 75-year-old former president was reportedly released on Thursday morning.

Keita was held outside Bamako, the country’s capital, alongside Boubou Cisse, his prime minister, and some other high-ranking government officials after a coup that led to his resignation.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan who is ECOWAS’ special envoy on the crisis in Mali had led a delegation to negotiate Keita’s release but the military refused, saying the former president might sneak abroad.


“We asked them to allow ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to return to his personal residence, where he would be given tight security, but they said he could travel abroad, and not return to answer questions they may have for him,” Jonathan had said while briefing President Muhammadu Buhari at the end of his trip.

But on Thursday, the military junta called the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) said Keita had been released and is currently at his residence in the Sebenikoro district of Bamako.

“President IBK is free in his movements, he’s at home,” Djibrila Maiga, a spokesman for the junta, reportedly said.


The military junta had asked for a stay in power for three years and the lifting of sanctions placed on Mali but ECOWAS said it would only accept a transitional government with a civilian or retired army officer in charge for a maximum of one year.

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