UN Calls for Immediate Release of Malian President, Prime Minister

The United Nations mission in Mali on May 24 has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane after reports said military officers detained them.

“We call for calm and demand the immediate and unconditional release of the President and Prime Minister. Those who are holding them will be held accountable,” the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) stated on Twitter.

“They must ensure the wellbeing of those detained,” MINUSMA added.

MINUSMA further said they are in close contact with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union as they follow the events “closely and remain committed to supporting the transition.”

The statement came after military officers seized Ndaw, Ouane, and Defense Minister Souleymane Doucour and took them to a military base in Kati, near the capital Bamako, according to diplomatic and government sources.

According to the United States Embassy in Mali, it has received reports of increased military activity in Bamako.

The reported arrests came hours after a cabinet reshuffle where two senior members of the military, who were involved in the coup last year, lost their positions and were replaced.

The reported detentions raised concerns of a potential second coup within a year in the West African country.

ECOWAS reportedly said in a statement that a delegation will visit Bamako on May 25 to help resolve the “attempted coup.”

The Bureau of African Affairs of the U.S. State Department also urged the release of those arrested, describing the reported detentions as “concerning.”


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