Mali soldiers arrest President, Prime Minister after cabinet reshuffle

FEATURED: Transition Mali President Bah Ndaw is seen during his inauguration ceremony at the CICB (Centre International de Conferences de Bamako) in Bamako. Soldiers took Mali’s interim president and prime minister to a military base outside of the capital Bamako on May 24, 2021. PHOTO | AFP

The Military in Mali on Monday arrested the country’s interim President and his Prime Minister in the latest mutiny after a mini cabinet reshuffle.

Reports said President Bah Ndaw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and Defense Minister Souleymane Doucoure were arrested and taken to Kati, a centre outside Bamako. It was, however, not clear under what circumstances they were held.

President Ndaw, who has been acting since President Boubacar Keita was toppled in August, is supposed to use his 18-month transitional period to organise an election and help return the country to civilian rule.

But the move by the military, ostensibly to show disapproval for the cabinet changes, could just indicate how the country’s pulse was still under military control.

The three were supposedly arrested after the President replaced three officials who had led a coup against Keita last August.

There was no immediate comment from the military although various diplomats in Bamako warned their citizens to stay indoors.

The US Embassy in Mali said there had been “reports of military activity” in the capital and advised nationals to be cautious.

Mali, a former French colony, has faced coups and coup attempts in the past. Mr Keita was overthrown after the military got dissatisfied with his policy to combat insurgents in the north.

More to follow ….

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