Military junta releases two officials detained after President Keita’s ouster

Malian army soldiers are seen at the Independence Square after a mutiny, in Bamako, Mali August 18, 2020. REUTERS/Moussa Kalapo

Mali’s military junta has released two senior government officials that were detained following Tuesday’s ouster of President Ibrahim Keita, Reuters reports quoting an ally of the leader.

Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were arrested alongside other top government officials after the military took power following weeks of protests in the West African country.

Various countries and bodies have denounced Keita’s ouster, including the UN, AU and ECOWAS.

Keita was last seen on Tuesday when he made a televised resignation from his position as well as the immediate dissolution of his government and the National Assembly.

Junta spokesman Ismaël Wagué however said the ex-president was only being detained for his own protection.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Wagué said the president’s resignation had not been forced.

“There was no coup d’état because the constitutional order is still in force,” he said. “The president of the republic resigned on his own after making an analysis of the country’s situation.”