Multiple sources have reported the forceful detention of Mali’s interim President Bah Ndaw alongside the Prime Minister and Defence Minister by military officers on Monday, May 24, 2021.
Just months after the previous president was ousted through a military coup, the military in Mali have struck again with the detention of the members of the transitional government.
President Bah Ndaw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and defence minister Souleymane Doucoure were all taken to a military base in Kati outside the capital Bamako, hours after two members of the military lost their positions in a government reshuffle, the diplomatic and government sources said.
The worsening political instability and military crisis have complicated efforts by Western powers and neighbouring countries to offer the much-needed help to the impoverished country, contributing to regional insecurity.
From January 2019 till date, 552 civilians and soldiers have died in separate violent attacks in the state. The most recent incident was the attack of a military post in Gao, Mali, leading to the death of at least 33 soldiers.
The UN’s mission in Mali has however called for the president’s “immediate and unconditional” release and said those who hold the leaders would have to answer for their actions.
A delegation from the top regional decision-making body ECOWAS will visit Bamako on Tuesday to help resolve the “attempted coup”, ECOWAS, the U.N., African Union, European Union and several European countries said in a joint statement.
“The international community rejects in advance any act imposed by coercion, including forced resignations,” the group said.
The U.S. State Department called in a statement for the “unconditional release of those currently being held”.