AU condemns arrest of Malian President, begs UN’s intervention

The African Union has condemned the arrest of President Ibrahim Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse.

Mutineering soldiers in Mali on Tuesday detained Keita and some members of his cabinet at his residence in Bamako, the country’s capital.

“We can tell you that the president and the prime minister are under our control,” a top rank soldier, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

Reacting in a string of tweets, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, called for the immediate release of the duo.

He also called on the United Nations and other international organisations to oppose the use of force to end Keita’s political reign in Mali.

Faki wrote, “I strongly condemn the arrest of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the Prime Minister and other members of the Malian Government and call for their immediate release.

“I strongly condemn any attempt at anti-constitutional change and call on the mutineers to cease all use of violence and respect for republican institutions.

“I call on the Economic Community of West African States, the United Nations, and the entire international community to effectively combine their efforts to oppose any use of force to end the political crisis.”

Earlier on Tuesday, while briefing Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who is ECOWAS Special Envoy to Mali, told his successor that Mali’s main opposition group, M5, is adamant on its call for the resignation of Keita.

Buhari, alongside some ECOWAS leaders, had in July travelled to Bamako on a peace-keeping mission but the meeting with the protest leader, Imam Dicko, ended in a stalemate.

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