Military in Mali detains country’s top officials

TEHRAN, May 25 (MNA) – Military officers in Mali detained the president, prime minister and defense minister of the interim government on Monday, just nine months after a military coup ousted the previous president.

President Bah Ndaw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, and Defense 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 sources said, The New York Times reported.

Their detentions followed the military ouster in August of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and could worsen instability in the impoverished West African country.

Mr. Ndaw and Mr. Ouane had been assigned to oversee an 18-month transition back to civilian rule after the August takeover, but they appear to have moved against the military’s control over a number of key positions.

“The sacking of the pillars of the coup was an enormous misjudgment,” a senior former Malian government official told Reuters. “The actions are probably aimed at getting them back in their jobs.”

The military’s ultimate goal was not immediately clear. One military official in Kati said this was not an arrest. “What they have done is not good,” the source said, referring to the cabinet reshuffle. “We are letting them know, decisions will be made.”

But the Kati military base is a notorious site for ending the rule of Malian leaders. The military took President Keita to Kati last August and forced him to resign. A mutiny there helped topple his predecessor,  Amadou Toumani Toure, in 2012.

RHM/PR

News Code 173912

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