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Iran Press TV

Mali's interim president, prime minister resign after arrest by army

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 27 May 2021 8:10 AM

Mali's interim president and prime minister have resigned, two days after they were arrested by the military and were transferred to a military base outside the capital, an aide to the vice president says.

Transitional President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were arrested by soldiers, led by Colonel Assimi Goita, the leader of a coup last year and the vice president of the interim government.

"The officials will be released from detention gradually due to security considerations," Baba Cisse, an aide to Goita, told a press conference later on Wednesday.

According to later reports on Thursday, the two were finally freed from detention after resigning their posts.

"They resigned, their release was scheduled, we have nothing against them," said Goita aide Baba Cissé.

Ndaw and Ouane's whereabouts will be kept secret to protect their security, Cissé told Reuters. He declined to detail any plans for their replacement.

The arrests came after the announcement of a cabinet reshuffle in which two members of the previous military junta, who led the defense and security ministries, lost their posts.

"The president and prime minister violated the most important clause in the Transitional Charter of Power," Goita said, while promising that elections would take place next year as planned.

The "Transitional Charter of Power" was published in October 2020 following the inauguration of a new interim government amid intense international pressure to establish democracy in post-coup Mali. The document, drafted by Goita, set out guidelines for governance during an 18-month transition period until new elections are held.

The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and several other international organizations issued statements condemning Goita's action and calling for the release of the two.

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