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Mali’s Interim Leadership Reportedly Arrested


FILE - In this file photo taken on Sept. 25, 2020 transition Mali President Bah Ndaw is seen during his inauguration ceremony in Bamako.

Military officials in Mali arrested the country’s president and prime minister Monday, just months into their tenure, according to multiple news reports.

President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, as well as Defense Minister Souleymane Doucoure, were taken to a military base outside the capital, Bamako, Reuters and Agence France Presse reported.

The U.S. Embassy in Mali warned U.S. citizens to avoid unnecessary travel in Bamako because the embassy “received reports of increased military activity” in the city.

The news closely follows a reshuffle of the country’s government, in which two members of the military junta that seized power in an August coup were replaced.

The military overthrew former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita last August. Ndaw and Ouane are serving an 18-month term as the country transitions and prepares for new elections.

Mali had been mired in months of protests led by the main opposition party in 2020 over an economic crisis, corruption and Keita’s failure to quell an eight-year-old Islamic insurgency that gained a foothold in central Mali. Anger also brewed over the results of 31 disputed legislative races held last April.

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