Friday, 28 January 2022

Mali president and PM resign after arrest

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 20, 2021 Malian Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and his delegation attend the inauguration of the new river port of Konna in central Mali. – Mali’s transitional President Bah Ndaw and Malian Prime Minister Moctar Ouane have resigned after the military arrested them on May 24, 2021. (Photo by MICHELE CATTANI / AFP)

BAMAKO: Mali’s interim president and prime minister resigned yesterday, a top junta aide said, two days after they were detained and stripped of their powers in what appeared to amount to the country’s second coup in nine months. President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, tasked with steering the return to civilian rule after a coup last August, resigned in the presence of mediators visiting the military base where they were being held, said Baba Cisse, special advisor to junta boss Assimi Goita.

However a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union and UN mission MINUSMA mediation mission told reporters that the leaders had in fact resigned before they arrived. The delegation then went to speak to Goita-who holds the rank of vice president in the transitional government-again after seeing him late Tuesday. “We saw the vice president again to express our dissent,” the member told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Cisse said negotiations were under way for the pair’s release and the formation of a new government in the poor Sahel country. Their detentions triggered widespread international condemnation and the threat of sanctions. The UN Security Council was set to hold an emergency meeting later Wednesday at the request of former colonial power France and others, with French President Emmanuel Macron likening the recent events to a second coup.

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