UN, AU call for release of Mali leader, officials

UN, AU call for release of Mali leader, officials

The United Nations Mission in Mali, the African Union (AU) and other international bodies have condemned the arrest of Malian President Bah Ndaw and other top government officials by soldiers in the country, urging their immediate release.

The mission, in a tweet, also called for calm in the impoverished West African nation following the arrest of the president.

The call for the release of Bah Ndaw comes after reports that interim President Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were moved by soldiers to the Kati military camp near the capital, Bamako.

Defence Minister Souleymane Doucouré has reportedly been detained as well.

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Late on Monday, Ouane told AFP in a phone call that soldiers came to get him, but the media house said the line was then cut.

The reported detentions came just hours after a government reshuffle, which saw two senior army officers who took part in last year’s coup replaced.

This event has so far raised fears of the possible occurrence of a second coup within a year in the country.

The AU, the Economic Community of the West African States, the European Union, and others have condemned the detention, saying Mali’s president and top politicians must be released without any preconditions.

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