- The military junta in Mali has completely taken over the country's government
- This came after the forced resignation of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane
- The president and prime minister were reported to have made this move while mediation with the junta was ongoing on Wednesday, May 26
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What started as an arrest and detention for the president of Mali, Bah Ndaw, and the prime minister, Moctar Ouane, ended up as forced resignation of the duo on Wednesday, May 26.
Ndaw and Ouane resigned during mediation efforts on Wednesday, according to Baba Cisse, the special advisor to the junta head, Assimi Goita, African News reports.
According to Reuters, Cisse revealed:
"President Bah Ndaw and his Prime Minister Moctar Ouane have resigned before the arbitrator. Negotiations are underway for their release and the formation of a new government."
Earlier, N’Daw and Ouane were detained by soldiers on Monday, May 24. The arrest of the country's interim government officials is following a cabinet reshuffle in the sub-Saharan African country just nine months after its previous leader was toppled by a military coup.
Souleymane Doucoure, Mali's defence minister, was also arrested by soldiers. They were all taken to a military base in Kati outside the country’s capital, Bamako, hours after two members of the military lost their positions in a government reshuffle.
Diplomatic and government sources revealed that the soldiers who lost their positions were members of the junta that had seized power in the coup.
The United Nations and the African Union called for the immediate and unconditional release of the president and prime minister.
The international organisations condemned the incident saying they reject any act of coercion, including forced resignations.
Meanwhile, in reaction, the Nigerian government condemned the detention in a statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye.
The statement read:
“The federal government of Nigeria condemns in strong terms the detention of the duo of interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane of Mali.
“The two key officials in the transitional government of Mali were reportedly taken by soldiers to the Kati Military Camp near the Capital, Bamako on Monday, 24th May 2021..."