Mali’s Vice President Colonel Assimi Goita on Thursday confirmed former Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and other officials and military personnel who were detained during the August coup have been released, reported Africa News.
The coup ousted former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita who was detained along with former prime minister and other government officials. Keïta’s ousting was followed by massive mass protests by the June 5 Movement that represented a coalition of opposition politicians, religious leaders, and civil society groups, over his failure to end the violence or take the country out of an economic and institutional crisis.
Goita confirmed the release on the public radio station, National Radio of Mali, on Thursday.
According to a press release by the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), which overthrew President Keïta, said the former head of the national assembly, Moussa Timbine, Former defence minister Ibrahima Dahirou Dembele, former security minister M’Bemba Moussa Keita, as well as former army chief of staff Abdoulaye Coulibaly were also among those released.
The release of the officials was one of the demands of international institutions including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for lifting sanctions imposed on the country after the coup that included border closures and a ban on commercial trade and financial flows. The bloc had been putting pressure on the new interim government to release all military and civilian officials arrested during the coup.
The economic sanctions against Mali were lifted earlier this week after the appointment of the transitional government.
Mali’s interim government is headed by transitional President Bah Ndaw, who served as defence minister from 2014 to 2015 and held several other military positions, with Goita as vice president.
ECOWAS has also called out for the dissolution of the self-titled National Committee for the People’s Salvation (CNSP) which led the coup, and which is still led by Goita.