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Mali president, prime minister released — after 3 days in detention

Mali president, prime minister released — after 3 days in detention
May 27
13:22 2021

Mali’s interim President Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane have been released after their arrest and detention by the military in a coup.

The two men were detained on Monday at a military base outside Bamako, the country’s capital, following a coup.

Souleymane Doucoure, the country’s defence minister, was also said to have been arrested.

On Wednesday, Baba Cisse, an aide to Assimi Goita, the interim vice-president, announced that N’Daw and Ouane had resigned while in detention.


“The president and his prime minister have resigned. Negotiations are ongoing for their liberation and the formation of a new government,” he said.

A military officer who preferred to remain anonymous confirmed the pair’s release to the AFP news agency on Thursday.

“The interim president and prime minister were released overnight around 1:30am (01:30 GMT). We were true to our word,” he said.


Family members were also said to have confirmed their release to news agencies.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ferdinand Nwoye, spokesperson of Nigeria’s ministry of foreign affairs, said the federal government condemned the detention of the officials and called for their immediate release.

The federal government said the detention “is totally unacceptable and might derail the peacebuilding efforts and timetable for the return of democratic governance in Mali”.

N’Daw, who was Mali’s former defence minister, was named president of the country’s new transitional government last September after a military junta ousted President Ibrahim Keita from office.


N’Daw and Assimi Goita, leader of the military junta, were appointed to oversee an 18-month transition after which national elections will be conducted.

The military junta had come under pressure from leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to return power to civilians following the August 18, 2020 coup.

ECOWAS had also imposed sanctions on Mali after the coup.

After trying to negotiate remaining in power for three years, the military later handed power to a caretaker government that pledged to reform the constitution and conduct elections within 18 months.



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