Military officials in Mali detained the president, prime minister, and defense minister of the interim government on Monday, according to UN and African Union officials. This worsens an already chaotic political situation in a country beset by an Islamic insurgency.
President Bah Ndaw, Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, and Defense Minister Souleymane Doucoure were all detained and taken to a military base in Kati outside the capital city of Bamako.
Their detention happened an hour after a government reshuffle resulted in Interior Security Minister Modibo Kone and Defense Minister Sadio Camara, two members of the military junta that had seized power in a coup last summer, losing their positions in the interim government. No reason was given for the junta supporters’ ouster which suggests discord within the interim government.
After Kone and Camara were excluded, the military acted quickly. Thus, it is likely that the Malian junta was aware of the two men’s removal beforehand.