SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 22 June 2021, Tuesday | النسخة العربية

Mali’s president and prime minister resign following military takeover

The interim president and prime minister of Mali resigned on Wednesday, two days after they were arrested by the military, an aide to the vice president said, deepening a political crisis and potentially setting up a standoff with international powers.

President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were taken to a military base outside the capital on Monday after a cabinet reshuffle in which two officers lost their posts.

The intervention led by Vice President Assimi Goita has jeopardized Mali’s transition back to democracy after a coup in August overthrew former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. It has provoked international condemnation and raised fears that a political crisis in Bamako could affect regional security.

Goita, a colonel, also orchestrated last year’s coup. He has promised that elections planned for next year will go ahead.

“The president and his prime minister have resigned. Negotiations are ongoing for their liberation and the formation of a new government,” said Baba Cisse, an aide to Goita, in comments sent by the military to Reuters.

The resignations came as a delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) visited Mali to press the military to back down.

During a meeting late on Tuesday with Goita, the delegation, led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, raised the possibility of sanctions against the officers responsible for the takeover, according to a military official who was present.