Mali’s Authorities Release Former Interim President And PM From House Arrest

Mali’s committee monitoring the post-coup transition on Friday said former Malian interim President Bah Ndaw and his prime minister, Moctar Ouane, have been released from house arrest, reported Reuters. The two were ousted and put under house arrest by military officers in May.

Their detention marked Mali’s second coup since the overthrow of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August last year.

In a statement on Friday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) welcomed the move by Mali’s interim government to lift all restrictive measures on the former leaders.

Ndaw was selected as the president and Ouane was appointed as the prime minister after a military coup in August 2020. Mali’s strongman Colonel Assimi Goita deposed Ndaw and Ouane in a second coup after accusing them of failing to consult him about a cabinet reshuffle. The two leaders had been kept under house arrest after their removal.

Goita was later declared interim president. He appointed opposition leader Choguel Maiga as prime minister of the transitional government.

On Friday, ECOWAS said Ndaw and Ouane should enjoy all the rights associated with their roles as the former president and the former prime minister.

The restrictions were lifted following an appeal from the ousted leaders to the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which recently demanded Mali to justify the detention. The two have not spoken publicly since they were dismissed in May.

Earlier this week, Mali’s government arrested former Prime Minister, Boubeye Maiga, for his alleged role in the purchase of a presidential plane during deposed President Keita’s presidential tenure.

Mali’s current President Goita has vowed to restore civilian rule in the country and conduct elections in February next year. But, there are doubts about whether the government will be able to hold elections within such a short timeframe due to rampant violence across Mali.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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