Nigeria calls for immediate release of Mali’s interim president, prime minister

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama

The Federal Government on Tuesday called for the immediate release of Mali’s interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria, therefore, calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the President and Prime Minister,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Ferdinand Nwoye said in a statement.

“The key actors of the condemnable act should be aware of the fact that stakeholders in the region and friends of Mali reject any act of coercion of the detained officials, including forced resignations.”

Ndaw and Ouane lead an interim government that was installed under the threat of regional sanctions following a putsch in August.

Malian officers upset with a government reshuffle on Monday abducted and detained the president and prime minister at Kati Military Camp, near the country’s capital, Bamako.

Their detentions followed a sensitive government reshuffle earlier on Monday that was designed to respond to growing criticism of the interim government.

The military action has also raised fears of a second coup in the country.

Ndaw and Ouane detention has triggered broad international condemnation and demands for their immediate release.

Nwoye, said the Nigerian government has described the action as totally unacceptable.

He said the military action might derail the peacebuilding efforts and timetable for the return of democratic governance in Mali.

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