Mali Coup Leader Assimi Goïta Declares Himself President

Mali Coup Leader Assimi Goïta Declares Himself President

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By Spy Uganda Correspondent 

Mali’s former junta leader Col Assimi Goïta has declared himself the country’s transitional president. Assim made the announcement after stripping interim President Bah Ndaw and PM Moctar Ouane of their powers.

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

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.

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.

They were arrested hours after the reshuffle and resigned their positions while in detention on Wednesday.

Announcing their release on Thursday, Col Goïta’s aide Baba Cissé said  “we have nothing against them” adding that their whereabouts would be kept secret for their own security.

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

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.

The latest events coincided with a visit by a delegation from Ecowas. Last year Ecowas threatened sanctions unless a caretaker government under civilian leadership took over from the military.

Now that Col Goïta has effectively torn up that agreement by taking charge, it is not clear what the repercussions will be.

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

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

However, French troops helped regain territory but attacks continue as the insurgents have capitalized on the persistent political instability in the region.

This has all led to public confidence waning over the army leaders’ ability to tackle the Islamist insurgency that has spilled into neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.

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