Mali’s Interim President, PM Resign After Arrest by Military Junta


May 27, 2021 05:43 PM

Commandant Baba Cisse addresses the press in Bamako, Mali on Wednesday announcing that Mali's president and prime minister will be gradually released. Photo: AFP

Mali's interim president and prime minister resigned on Wednesday, a top junta aide said, two days after they were detained and stripped of their powers in what appeared to amount to the country's second coup in nine months.

In New York, the UN Security Council "strongly condemned" the ouster and arrest of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, and called for a return to civilian government - but did not discuss punitive measures.

The interim leaders, who had been tasked with steering the return to civilian rule after a coup in August 2020, resigned in the presence of mediators visiting the military base where they were being held, said Baba Cisse, special advisor to junta boss Assimi Goita.

However, a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union and UN mission MINUSMA mediation mission told reporters that the leaders had in fact resigned before they arrived.

The delegation then went to speak to Goita - who holds the rank of vice president in the transitional government - again after seeing him late Tuesday.

Cisse said the president, prime minister and other transition leaders arrested on Monday would be released but this would happen "gradually for obvious security reasons." He gave no timeline.

The Security Council, which held an emergency meeting at the request of former colonial power France and others, called for "the safe, immediate and unconditional release of all the officials detained and urged the defense and security forces elements to return to their barracks without delay."


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