Mali Military Frees President, Prime Minister


Mali’s interim president Bah Ndaw and premier Moctar Ouane have been released three days after they were detained by the military and stripped off their powers in what appeared to be the country’s second coup in nine months.

A military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the interim president and prime minister were released overnight around 1:30am after being held at the Kati military camp around 15 kilometers from the capital Bamako.

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

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

Mali’s coup leader Assimi Goita, who headed a junta that seized power less than 10 months ago, stripped the pair off their powers, which led to the resignation of the interim leaders in the presence of mediators visiting the military base.

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

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