The Malian army released the president and interim premier Bah Ndaw and Moctar Ouane on Thursday three days after their arrest, forcing them to resign in a dispute over the composition of the new government in the African country.
Ndaw and Ouane, who were transferred to the Kati military base on Monday, where the August 2020 coup against then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was faked, have not made any statements after their release that has been confirmed by military sources backed by the newspaper ‘ Journal du Mali ‘.
An Ouane employee has indicated in statements given to Malian broadcaster Studio Tamani that both are currently in their official residence.
The publications were also confirmed by the British broadcaster BBC, which has detailed that both left the military camp around 1:00 a.m. (3:00 a.m. in mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands). The army had promised hours earlier to proceed with his release.
Commander Baba Cisse, advisor to the vice-president and former leader of the military junta, Assimi Goita, stressed on Wednesday that “after the resignation of the president and prime minister, detainees will regain their freedom”. “This will be done gradually for obvious security reasons,” he added without going into detail.
The resignations came a day after Goita struck another coup and sacked them both amid a new crisis mediated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which sent the former president back to send Nigerian Goodluck Jonathan to Bamako try to contain the situation.
The arrests of Ndaw and Ouane have been condemned by the international community as part of a coup in the context of the August 2020 coup. The United Nations, the European Union (EU), France and the United States had also made its “immediate” request for release and a return to the transition process.
In this context, US State Department spokesman Ned Price has announced the suspension of “all security aid” to the African country’s security forces, which was reactivated after the transition process began after the 2020 uprising was frozen.
The trigger for the new crisis was Ouane’s recent resignation amid new opposition protests, after which Ndaw reappointed him. On Monday, for example, he revealed the composition of the new government with the military in the main portfolios, but without important personalities on the executive board.
Goita said on Tuesday after the announcement of the dismissal of both politicians that the announcement of the new executive branch “presupposes an obvious will on the part of the interim president and prime minister to work towards a violation of the transitional gazette, contrary to the oath they took during the transition.” her investiture of September 25, 2020 “.
However, Goita stressed that “the transition process continues its normal course and the planned elections will take place in 2022”, although his coup again shows the importance of the military in the process, despite being led by civilians.
The transitional authorities saw the light of day after ECOWAS brokered the coup against Keita in August 2020 to ensure that the army turned power to the civil authorities. In this context, the agreement stipulated that both the President and the Prime Minister had to be civilians.
Subsequently, Ndaw was named president and Ouane prime minister, although Goita was guaranteed the position of vice president and was thus at the forefront of “defense and security issues” with a clause that precludes the possibility of his being able to replace the president in the event a vacancy, although this point is back on the table.