Malian Iinterim President, Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were on Monday taken into the custody of soldiers in what is described as being suggestive of a coup in a political twist.
The leaders were reportedly taken to the Kati military base located near Mali’s capital, Bamako.
It was at the same military base that President-elect, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was taken on August 18, 2020 and was forced to announce his resignation that led to the formation of an interim government in September, led by N’Daw for 18-month.
Their arrest came just hours after two members of the junta lost their positions in a cabinet reshuffle.
The development has drawn condemnation from the international community.
The European Union (EU), labelled the attempted coup “kidnapping” while the African Union(AU), United Nations (UN), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) have condemned the move and called for the release of the leaders.
The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in a tweet said he was “deeply concerned” by the arrest of N’Daw and Ouane and has called “for calm and their unconditional release.”
Mali has been plagued with numerous security and humanitarian crises.
Since 2012, armed insurgency hired against the government by separatists and Islamist groups have displaced hundreds of thousands of people.