Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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Mali coup leader Goita declares himself president

Mali’s junta leader Col Assimi Goïta has declared himself the country’s transitional president.

Goita made the declaration after stripping interim President Bah Ndaw and PM Moctar Ouane of their powers.

The two ousted leaders were freed from military detention, where they had been held since Monday in what was seen as Mali’s second coup in nine months.

The seizure of power came after a cabinet reshuffle which Col Goïta complained he was not consulted about.

Two army officers involved in the previous coup lost their jobs in the reshuffle.

Col Goïta said earlier that President Bah Ndaw and PM Moctar Ouane had failed in their duties and were seeking to sabotage the country’s transition.

Announcing their release on Thursday, Col Goïta’s aide Baba Cissé said, quoted by Reuters “we have nothing against them”.

He added that their whereabouts would be kept secret for their own security.

Col Goïta has said elections will still go ahead next year as planned.

Ex-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan led an ECOWAS delegation to the West African nation

The former leaders’ release had been requested by the UN, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), the EU and the US.

Meanwhile, France, the former colonial power, has threatened EU sanctions against the perpetrators, with President Emmanuel Macron describing it as a “coup within a coup”, Reuters reports.

Col Goïta has asked people to go about their business as usual and promises the military is committed to the transitional deal.

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