Mali Coup: President Keita still in captivity as mutineers release two officials

About 72 hours after a military coup in Mali overthrew the civilian government, President Ibrahim Keita, who was arrested alongside others, is still in detention.

The mutineers have, however, released two of his officials.

Since Tuesday when Mr Keita announced his resignation from government and the dissolution of the parliament on television after being held at gunpoint, no news was heard of him until United Nations human rights officials met him and other officials midnight Thursday, the UN mission in Mali tweeted on Friday.

There was no further information about the ousted president’s condition or what was discussed.

Mali president resigns after military coup

But on Friday, the mutineers freed two of the captives while still detaining the 75-year-old president, an ally of Mr Keita told Reuters.

“They were freed but I don’t know in what condition,” the head of Keita’s party, Bocary Treta, told Reuters.

It remains unclear whether the UN peace mission to the mutineers resulted in the release of the two officials – the finance minister, Abdoulaye Daffe, and the president’s private secretary, Sabane Mahalmoudou. The coup orchestrators had earlier rejected foreign interference, particularly ECOWAS’s demands of restoring Mr Keita to power.

The military leaders had on Tuesday promised to create a transitional government as they held discussions with an opposition coalition and civil society groups.

They pledged to oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” amount of time.

Despite the calm that followed the coup, many people are not sure of what the future holds for the troubled West African State that has had two coups in eight years amidst struggles to fend off a ravaging insurgency in the north.

“As it is, for now, we don’t have a clear view of their (mutineers’) plans and vision. The people of Mali are currently navigating in some kind of darkness,” Cheick Doumbia, a political analyst from Mali said.


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