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Mali Military Frees President, Prime Minister

Channels Television  
Updated May 27, 2021
Commandant Baba Cisse, Special Advisor to the Vice-President addresses to the press in Bamako on May 26, 2021, announcing that Mali’s President and Prime Minister will be gradually released after they have been arrested on May 24, 2021.
Michele Cattani / AFP

 

Mali’s interim president and premier have been released, a military official said Thursday, three days after they were detained and stripped of their powers in what appeared to be the country’s second coup in nine months.

“The interim president and prime minister were released overnight around 1:30 am (0130 GMT). We were true to our word,” the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Family members confirmed that President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane had been freed.

The two men have returned to their homes in the capital Bamako, those close to them said, though the conditions of their release were not clear.

Their release was one of the demands of the international community.

In a move that sparked widespread diplomatic anger, the pair were detained on Monday by army officers who were apparently disgruntled by a government reshuffle.

 

File COMBO of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane

 

The two were held at the Kati military camp around 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Bamako.

Ndaw and Ouane had been heading an interim government that was installed in September under the threat of regional sanctions, with the declared aim of restoring full civilian rule within 18 months.

Assimi Goita, who headed a junta that seized power less than 10 months ago, said Tuesday that the pair had been stripped of their powers.

On Wednesday, the interim leaders resigned in the presence of mediators visiting the military base.

-AFP