US condemns arrest of transition gov’t leaders in Mali

The US on Wednesday “strongly” condemned the arrest of the leaders of Mali’s transition government, which is called an attempted coup.

“We support the May 24 joint statement of ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] and the African Union, and we are working closely with the local transition monitoring committee and other international actors to seek the immediate and unconditional release of those detained and resumption of the civilian-led transition,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Price said a democratic and civilian-led government presents the best opportunity to achieve security and prosperity in Mali and the wider Sahel region.

He noted that the US restricted assistance to Mali’s government after an August 2020 coup in the country

“We are now suspending all security assistance that benefits the Malian Security and Defense Forces that we had continued previously pursuant to available authorities,” he added.

Mali’s military arrested the interim president, prime minister and defense chief late Monday and transported them to a military base near the capital.

A military escort accompanied President Bah N’Daw, who led the transitional government, along with Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and Defense Minister Souleymane Doucoure to the Kati military camp located 15 kilometers (9 miles) northwest of the capital, Bamako, according to reports.

Source: Anadolu Agency