Mali Military Arrest President, Prime Minister

Unimpressed by the latest cabinet reshuffle by the President of Mali’s transitional government, Bah Ndaw, the Malian military on Monday arrested the President, his Prime Minister and the Defence Minister.

According to reports, Ndaw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and Defence Minister Souleymane Doucoure were taken to Kati, a centre outside of Bamako, the Malian capital.

The reasons for their arrest are not clear yet but it is believed to be connected with the decision of Mister Ndaw to have a cabinet reshuffle leaving out some members of cabinet favoured by the army.

Ndaw became the transitional government’s President after a coup by Malian military led to the toppling of Boubacar Keita. Ndaw is expected to lead the government for eighteen months after which he will organise an election and see to the emergence of a civilian President.

The military’s move to arrest the President and his closest allies is indicative of the control the Mali army still wields in the country.

Ndaw, according to reports, sacked three officials who had led the coup that displaced Keita, a decision that was not taken lightly by the observing military.

While the military is yet to release an official statement, the American Embassy in Mali warned American nationals of military activity in Bamako, and asked them to stay safe.

The UN has called for the release of the Malian leaders as reports of a possible coup surfaces again.

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