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27 May, 2021 16:39

Detained Mali interim president, PM freed after arrest by former coup leader

Detained Mali interim president, PM freed after arrest by former coup leader

Mali’s interim president Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane have been released after being arrested by the military three days ago, a spokesperson for Vice President Assimi Goita, who led a coup last year, has said.

Goita, who was also behind the ouster of former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office in August, organized the arrest of the two politicians on Monday. They were reportedly taken to the Kati military base on the outskirts of the capital Bamako.

Both resigned while in custody on Wednesday, Goita’s aide Baba Cisse told Reuters on Thursday. The news agency said Cisse had also confirmed that the men’s location would remain secret for security reasons.

Also on rt.com UN, African Union call for ‘immediate & unconditional’ release of Mali’s president and key officials detained by military

Goita has accused Ndaw and Ouane of failing in their political responsibilities as Mali moves back to civilian rule following last year’s coup. He has not provided details about the pair’s replacements, but pledged that elections scheduled for next year will take place as planned.

The arrests have been condemned by leaders of the United Nations and African Union, who had called for their “unconditional release.”

On Thursday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Lisbon that the EU expects Mali’s political transition to go ahead as planned. Speaking after a meeting with his EU counterparts, Maas said the bloc’s military training activities in the country should not be affected by the latest political turmoil.

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