Military Coup In Mali, Nine Months After The Last One
On May 24th, Mali’s military detained the president and prime minister of the interim government, according to the United Nations and the African Union.
This takes place nine months after a military coup overthrew its previous leader.
The detention of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane came hours after a government reshuffle left out two soldiers who led the coup in August last year and raised fears of a second military takeover.
In a joint statement, the UN and AU called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Mali’s civilian leadership and said “the international community rejects in advance any act of coercion, including forced resignations”.
The United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and the West African regional bloc known as ECOWAS also signed the statement.
The joint statement called Ndaw and Ouane’s detentions “reckless” and called for Mali’s political transition “to resume its course and conclude within the established timeframe”.
It added: “We emphasize that the ill-considered action taken today carries the risk of weakening the mobilization of the international community in support of Mali.”
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern in a Twitter post and urged calm, while European Union leaders condemned what they called the “kidnapping” of Mali’s civilian leadership.
“What happened was grave and serious and we are ready to consider necessary measures,” EU Council President Charles Michel told reporters after a summit of the bloc’s 27 leaders.
Ndaw, a former soldier, and Ouane were sworn in September last year after Mali’s generals agreed to hand over power to a transitional government in the wake of an August coup that removed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Coup leader Assimi Goita was appointed as vice president and the caretaker administration was tasked with overseeing an 18-month transition back to civilian rule. Two others who were instrumental in the coup – Sadio Camara and Colonel Modibo Kone were given the positions of defense and security ministers, respectively.
This most recent shuffle left both Camara and Kone out of the government.
One military official in Kati told Reuters the detentions were not an arrest.
“What they have done is not good,” the source said, referring to the cabinet reshuffle. “We are letting them know, decisions will be made.”
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