Mali’s military frees ousted president, premier after resignations

Leaders of Mali's interim government Bah N’Daw, Moctar Ouane were detained by army since Monday

Aurore Bonny  | 27.05.2021 - Update : 27.05.2021
Mali’s military frees ousted president, premier after resignations

LOME, Togo

Mali’s military released Bah N’Daw and Moctar Ouane early on Thursday, hours after the former president and prime minister of the country’s transitional government resigned from their posts.

The two were held at an army base near the capital Bamako since Monday by the military junta led by interim Vice President Assimi Goita.

Their detention, which came within hours of a Cabinet reshuffle that saw two army officers ousted from the interim setup, has thrown Mali into further political crisis just nine months after the military overthrew the government of ex-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last August.

They were released at around 1:30 a.m. (0130GMT) and returned to their families, according to a report by local news outlet Malijet.

The resignation of N’Daw and Ouane was announced by Baba Cisse, an adviser to Goita, at a press conference on Wednesday.

He claimed the duo resigned “following a series of events that had prevented the normal functioning of the transition.”

The international community has vehemently criticized the military’s action against the transitional government and warned against any act of coercion, including forced resignations.

In a special session on Wednesday, the UN Security Council “strongly condemned” the arrests and called for the “safe, immediate and unconditional release” of the Malian leaders.

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