The soldiers who took power in Mali on August 18 before embarking on a transition supposed to bring civilians back to power announced on Wednesday the release of the 11 civilian and military personalities arrested during their coup.
“The vice-president of the transition (and leader of the putschists, Colonel Assimi Goïta, editor’s note) informs the public (…) of the release today of political and military figures arrested following the events of August 18, 2020 “, a press release by the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), which overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta said.
“These are the former Prime Minister, Boubou Cissé, the former President of the National Assembly, Moussa Timbiné, generals Ibrahima Dahirou Dembélé, M’bemba Moussa Keïta, Oumar Dao, Ouahoun Koné, Boukary Kodio, Abdramane Baby, Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Moustapha Drabo and Colonel-Major Faguimba Kansaye “, according to the press release published on the CNSP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“However, the interested parties remain at the disposal of justice for all useful purposes”, adds the text.
Noting the “significant progress towards constitutional normalization” since the establishment of bodies responsible for leading the transition to civil power, the Community of West African States on Tuesday lifted the sanctions imposed on Mali the day after the coup.
West African leaders welcomed the appointment of a transitional president, Bah Ndaw, a retired colonel, and that of a former foreign minister, Moctar Ousmane, as prime minister.
They also welcomed the renunciation by the military of a major prerogative initially vested in the head of the junta: Colonel Goïta will not be able to replace the president of the transition if the latter is unable to attend, according to the charter drawn up by the military.
But ECOWAS had also underlined that the lifting of sanctions, foremost among them a commercial and financial embargo, should be seen as an encouragement to go further.
The regional bloc, mediator in the Malian crisis, had insisted on the need to release the military and civilian officials arrested “during the coup d’état of August 18”.
To satisfy the leaders of neighboring countries, the Malian military still has to take a major step: the “dissolution” of the National Council for the Salvation of the People itself.