Mali Military Frees President, Prime Minister
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.
They released “The interim president and prime minister 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 they have freed President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.
The two men have however 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 army officers detained the pair on Monday because they were
apparently disgruntled by a government reshuffle.
They held the two 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
they have stripped the pair of their powers.
On Wednesday, the interim leaders also resigned in the presence of mediators visiting the military base.
By Victoria E.I