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Mali's Military Junta to Release Ousted Interim President, Prime Minister 'In Some Time', Aide Says

Sputnik News

Morgan Artyukhina . Sputnik International
21:34 GMT 26.05.2021(updated 22:26 GMT 26.05.2021)

Hours after the military junta in Mali announced the resignations of the prime minister and interim president, the two men are reportedly soon due to be released, according to an aide to the head of the country's military council.

The aide told reporters at a press conference the release "will take place in some time due to security concerns."

The news comes as the United Nations Security Council issued on Wednesday evening a unanimous statement that "called for the safe, immediate and unconditional release of all the officials detained and urged the Defense and Security forces elements to return to their barracks without delay."

Their statement is just the latest from several international institutions and world powers urging the release of Malian Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, Acting President Bah Ndaw, and Defense Minister Souleymane Doucoure.

Earlier on Wednesday, the military junta led by Acting Vice President Colonel Assimi Goïta, who led the August 2020 coup that overthrew democratically-elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, reportedly closed the country's air and land borders and instituted a curfew in the West African country of 19.6 million.

On Monday, members of the Malian Army detained Ouane, Ndaw, and Doucoure, the latter of whom had been appointed just hours earlier, and whisked them away to the Kati military base outside the capital city of Bamako. Goïta said Oane and Ndaw had attempted to "sabotage the transition" with a cabinet reshuffle that removed two leading coup figures from control over the defense and security ministries without consulting him beforehand.

"The president and the prime minister violated the most important clause of the Transitional Charter during the appointment of ministers to the new government by failing to negotiate the power bloc with the Vice President," Goita said on Tuesday. "As a result, measures were taken in order to protect the basic document of the transitional period."

He said the original transition plan "would proceed as normally, and the scheduled elections will be held in 2022." However, he has not yet given an indication as to when or how a new interim president would be chosen.

Ndaw was chosen to form a civilian government in September 2020 amid international pressure on the junta to return to a democratic form of government. A former colonel who was Keita's defense minister at the time of the coup, Ndaw selected Oaune, a longtime Malian diplomat, as prime minister and the two have led a government heavily staffed by military figures under the auspices of a transitional charter intended to lead to new elections within 18 months.

© Sputnik

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