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Military Arrest Mali President, Prime Minister, US Warns Citizens

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The Malian Military on Monday arrested and detained President of the country, Bah Ndaw and some other top officials of the interim government to further deepen the political crisis in the West African nation.

Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and defence minister Souleymane Doucoure were also arrested and taken to a military base in Kati outside the capital Bamako.

The latest military intervention in Mali comes after soldiers seized power from former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last August.

Ndaw’s arrest came hours after reshuffling his cabinet which saw two members of the military lose their positions in the interim government.

A fresh election is expected to hold next year in the impoverished country under the arrangement which succeeded the administration of the ousted Keita on 2020.

The United Nations’ mission in Mali called for the group’s “immediate and unconditional” release and said those who hold the leaders would have to answer for their actions.

A delegation from the top regional decision-making body ECOWAS will visit Bamako on Tuesday to help resolve the “attempted coup”, ECOWAS, the U.N., African Union, European Union and several European countries said in a joint statement.

“The international community rejects in advance any act imposed by coercion, including forced resignations,” the group said.

Ndaw and Ouane had been tasked with overseeing an 18-month transition back to civilian rule after the August takeover, but they appear to have moved against the military’s control over a number of key positions.

The US Embassy in Mali issued a security alert to its citizens, warning against nonessential travels to the country.

“The U.S. Embassy has received reports of increased military activity in Bamako. U.S. citizens are encouraged to avoid non-essential travel inside the city at this time, and monitor local media for updates,” US said.

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