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There are fears Mali may be witnessing another military coup after soldiers detained the country’s president and prime minister.
Soldiers reportedly unhappy with a recently announced transitional government on Monday took the president and prime minister by force to the Kati military camp.
The camp is a few kilometres from the capital Bamako as fears grow of a second coup.
Defence Minister Souleymane Doucouré has also reportedly been detained.
The reported detentions happened hours after the government reshuffle leading to the replacement of two senior army officers who took part in last year’s coup.
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President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were picked to help lead Mali back into a democracy after President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was toppled by soldiers.
Late on Monday AFP quoted Mr Ouane saying via the phone that soldiers “came to get him”.
“I confirm: Goïta’s men came to get me to take me to the president who lives not far from my residence,” he added.
Colonel Assimi Goïta is the current vice-president of the transition, considered key in last year’s coup.
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The African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the EU and the US have condemned the arrests.
They have demanded the release of the officials without any preconditions.
When the military junta that seized power in Mali last year it didn’t want to leave power anytime soon as they demanded a military-led transitional body to rule for three years.
But Ecowas rejected those demands and imposed sanctions forcing the military leaders to give way to a civilian leadership to transit the country into constitutional rule.