UN calls for immediate release of Mali President Bah Ndaw

UN calls for immediate release of Mali President Bah Ndaw
President Bah Ndaw (centre) is reportedly being held by Malian soldiers near the capital Bamako. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The United Nation’s mission in Mali has demanded an immediate release of the country’s President Bah Ndaw and PM Moctar Ouane, after reports that they were detained by soldiers.

The Minusma mission also called for “calm” in the impoverished West African country.

This comes after reports that interim President Ndaw and Prime Minister and Mr Ouane were driven by soldiers to the Kati military camp near the capital, Bamako.

This raised fears of a second coup within a year in the West African nation.

Defence Minister Souleymane Doucouré has also reportedly been detained by the soldiers.

Mr Ouane told AFP in a phone call late on Monday that soldiers “came to get him”. The news agency said the line then was cut.

The African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the European Union (EU) and the US also condemned the arrests, saying Mali’s top politicians must be released without any preconditions.

The reported detentions of the Mali President came just hours after a government reshuffle, which saw two senior army officers who took part in last year’s coup replaced.

Mali is looking unstable once again in just nine months after the military coup that saw President Ibrahim Boubakar Keïta removed from office.

Many Malians had welcomed Mr Keita’s departure – but there’s anger at the dominance of the military in the transitional government and the slow pace of promised reforms.

A previous military coup, which took place in 2012, led to militant Islamists exploiting the instability to seize territory in northern Mali.

French soldiers helped regain territory, but attacks continue.

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