Mali’s military coup leaders ease curfew, UN mission visits President Keita, African leaders demand his release

The National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), Mali’s new governing body established by the military leaders after the recent coup, on Friday, eased the curfew it had imposed in the country.

This is contained in CNSP communique signed by Col.-Maj. Ismael Wague, as cited by the Journal du Mali news outlet.

“The National Committee for the Salvation of the People is informing about the easing of the curfew.

“Now, it is in effect from 0.00 a.m. to 5.00 a.m. [00:00 to 05:00 GMT],’’ Wague said.

The curfew was introduced on Wednesday and was in effect from 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m.

The coup began on Tuesday at the Kati military base near the Malian capital of Bamako.

The rebels detained President Ibrahim Keita, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and some other senior government officials.

Keita then announced his resignation and dissolution of parliament.

The rebel leaders established the CNSP, which closed the borders and imposed the curfew.

The M5-RFP movement, which led months-long anti-government protests that preceded the coup, has promised to cooperate with the military in organising the transition period.

UN MISSION VISITS PRESIDENT KEITA, OTHER DETAINED OFFICIALS

 

Members of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) have managed to visit President Ibrahim Keita and other senior government officials who have been detained by the leaders of military mutiny earlier this week, official said.

The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) disclosed this on Friday in Moscow.

The coup rocked the West African country on Tuesday when a group of Malian soldiers took control of the Kati military base near the capital of Bamako and seized President Keita and some other high-ranking officials.

Keita then announced his resignation and dissolution of parliament.

“Yesterday in the evening a team of #DroitsdelHomme [Human Rights] of MINUSMA visited #Kati within the framework of its mandate to protect human rights and was able to have access to President Keita and other detainees,” the MINUSMA tweeted.

Leaders of the countries across the world and international organisations condemned the coup, including the West African ECOWAS union, which also closed borders with and cut political and economic ties with Mali.

The military established the National Committee for the Salvation of the People the country’s new governing body under the leadership of Assimi Goita, who was previously the commander of military forces in central Mali.

AFRICAN LEADERS DEMAND IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF DETAINED PRESIDENT

 

African leaders have strongly condemned the Tuesday military coup in Mali during which President Ibrahim Keita was seized by mutinying soldiers.

The leaders who included Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his counterparts from South Africa, DR Congo, Rwanda and Mozambique among others also demanded the immediate release of Keita.

In a statement issued in Nairobi on Friday after a virtual meeting on Thursday evening, the leaders also called for the immediate release of senior members of his administration, among them the country’s Prime Minister Boubou Cisse.

Kenyatta called for a “speedy, peaceful and democratic” resolution of the crisis while South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for dialogue to restore peace and stability in the West African country.

President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) rallied round African countries to take a firm position on the matter, saying the coup was “dangerous for democracy in Africa.”

Keita resigned on Wednesday after being detained in a coup launched by mutinous troops.

Meanwhile, the leaders who spoke during the virtual meeting of the AU Bureau, also discussed the continental response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting was also attended by representatives of Regional Economic Communities (RECs), African special envoys on COVID-19 and the Director of Africa CDC John Nkengasong.

During the meeting, Kenyatta said Africa needs to elevate its global partnerships in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to him, this is to ensure that African countries are not further marginalised but are positioned to be among the first line of beneficiaries when a breakthrough is made.

He commended the special envoys for their efforts in helping the continent deal with the health and socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.

“The economic challenges we face require concerted multilateral effort such as prioritising debt cancellation and Bretton Woods led relief package that do not exacerbate emerging local challenges,” he said.

In his report, Nkengasong informed the leaders that in spite crossing the one million mark of COVID-19 infections, Africa had in the last two weeks witnessed a 37 per cent reduction in reported daily infections.

Nkengasong said seven COVID-19 vaccine trials were nearing World Health Organisation (WHO) approval.

Four African countries among them Kenya are participating in the clinical trials for the vaccines.

He said Africa was targeting to vaccinate 60 per cent of its population at an estimated cost of 10 to 15 billion dollars once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

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