President has resigned, Newsone Nigeria understands.
This online news platform understands that the resignation by Mali President who was the leader of an 18-month civilian transitional government risks plunging the troubled nation into further instability and comes as representatives of the West African regional bloc are in Mali to mediate the political crisis, officials said Wednesday.
Newsone reports that the United Nations (UN) the African Union and other international bodies have urged Mali’s military to release the transitional leaders.
Transitional President Bah N’Daw dismissed Prime Minister Moctar Ouane Wednesday before handing in his own resignation letter to transitional Vice President Col. Assimi Goita, who led the 2020 coup, according to a military official. A West African diplomat who is involved in mediations also confirmed the resignation and dismissal. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to speak to the press on the subject.
It is not known the conditions under which the two transitional leaders are being held but Goita likely intends to take power himself to control the transition, the diplomat said.
Goita retook control of Mali on Tuesday, saying he had deposed the president and prime minister because they had formed a new government without consulting him. The two were arrested Monday by the military hours after naming a new Cabinet that did not include two major former junta leaders.
Jonathan’s role before the Mali President resigned
Meanwhile, Newsone reports that the development is coming at a time the international mediation with Mali’s military, led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan of the West African regional body known as ECOWAS began Tuesday and stretched into Wednesday at the Kati military camp outside the capital, Bamako, where the deposed leaders have been held.
The international community has condemned the detention of the transitional leaders, with French President Emmanuel Macron describing it as a coup and warning of repercussions, including targeted sanctions.
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said Wednesday, “We were very clear with the junta: the transition must include civilians. It must be peaceful, it must be inclusive and it must be limited in time. What has happened with what amounts to a coup d’etat within the coup d’etat constitutes for us a rupture of confidence.”
The EU has also warned that it is “ready to consider targeted measures against political and military leaders who obstruct the Malian transition.”
Former Nigerian President Jonathan, who arrived Tuesday night with the West African delegation, said they came to Mali as a mediation team to listen to different parties, including the military, civil society groups and others.
“There is cordial discussion, friendly discussion going on for the common interest of the people of Mali,” Former President Jonathan told journalists Tuesday night after meeting with and other members of the military and government.