Civil, military rift surges in Bali as military detains President & PM
Mali’s military has taken the country’s president and prime minister into custody, deepening political chaos and heightening fears of yet another coup in the sub-Saharan African country.
The development takes place only nine months after a military coup overthrew its previous leader.
In a joint statement released on Monday, the global bodies urged for an “unconditional and immediate” release of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane. The statement said that the international community rejects all sorts of advances in coercion, “including forced resignations”.
The UN mission let the statement out after reports surfaced that the heads of the interim government were detained by soldiers. They were driven to the Kati military camp in the outskirts of Bamako by the soldiers.
Defence Minister Souleymane Doucouré has been detained as well.
Mr Ouane, late on Monday, was heard in a phone conversation that soldiers “came to detain him”.
The Economic Community of the West African States, the African Union, the EU, and the U.S. condemned the arrests, pressing that Mali’s top politicians should be released without any sort of preconditions.
The detentions came hours after a government reshuffle, which led to an agonized response from the military. As per details, the reshuffle saw two senior army officers replaced as took part in last year’s coup.
Mali, once again, seems unstable just nine months after a military coup overthrew President Ibrahim Boubakar Keïta.
Even though many Malians welcomed Keita’s departure, anger remains at the dominance of the military in the overall structure of the government.
The West African country remains a safe haven for Islamist groups linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State as they control large areas of the desert north. Military infighting and political instability have complicated efforts made by Western powers and neighbouring countries to help the impoverished nation.