UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Calls For Release Of Mali’s President, Others
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for civilian leaders in Mali to be released after military officers upset with a government reshuffle detained the president and prime minister at an army camp outside the capital.
“I am deeply concerned by news of detention of civilian leaders of the Malian transition,” Guterres says on Twitter. “I call for calm & their unconditional release.”
President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane lead an interim government that they installed under the threat
of regional sanctions following a putsch in August, and the detentions on Monday raised fears of a second coup.
However, two senior officials, who refused to give their identities , told AFP that soldiers took Ndaw and
Ouane to the Kati military camp on the outskirts of Bamako.
Their detentions followed a sensitive government reshuffle earlier on Monday
that they designed to respond to growing criticism of the interim government.
The military kept the strategic portfolios it controlled during the previous administration in the reshuffle.
But they replaced two coup leaders — ex-defence minister Sadio Camara and ex-security minister Colonel Modibo Kone —.
Coup leaders and army officers have wielded significant influence over the government, casting doubts on a pledge to hold elections by early next year.
The reshuffle came at a time of growing political challenges in the capital Bamako and pressure to stick to the deadline for promised reforms.
By Victoria E.I