UN orders immediate release of detained Malian leaders

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The United Nations (UN) Security Council has ordered the immediate release of Mali’s President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, saying that the military, keeping them in detention would be held responsible for their safety.

In a statement released after an emergency meeting, the Security Council condemned in strong terms the arrest of the transitional president and other officials by elements of the Defence and Security forces in Mali.

The UN Security Council had met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss the derailing of Mali’s transitional government following the apparent forced departure of both the president and prime minister on Tuesday, by the leader of last August’s military coup.

According to news reports, the detention on Monday of top civilian leaders by Col. Assimi Goita – acting Vice President – who led the overthrow of former president Ibrahim Boubacr Keita last year, was because they had failed to consult him over a government reshuffle.

News of their arrest on Monday was met with concern by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who said his Special Representative in the region was working closely with the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and others supporting the transition.

 

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