Military mutineers detained Keita and other top government officials on August 18.
Rabat – Mali’s military leaders have allowed ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to return to his residence in Bamako. Keita had been in military custody since a coup broke out in Mali on August 18.
The National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), Mali’s new leaders, announced the update via Facebook on Thursday.
“He was freed this morning, (and) he has returned to his home,” a spokesperson of the junta told AFP, without going into detail.
Keita is still under military guard, according to Bloomberg, citing an anonymous source close to the ousted president.
Regional and international actors including the European Union, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had called for Keita’s release.
ECOWAS initially demanded Keita be reinstated as president, but rescinded the condition after meeting with CNSP members over the weekend. A delegation from the regional bloc traveled to Mali, with former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at the helm.
CNSP gave the former Nigerian leader permission to access Keita on Saturday. Jonathan said the ousted president seemed “very fine,” according to AFP.
On August 18, a coup unfolded in Mali. Military mutineers detained the president and several top government officials, including the prime minister.
After the president stepped down early on August 19 and dissolved Mali’s government, the coup leaders announced in a televised statement announced that CNSP will now lead the country.
CNSP said they had assumed responsibility for the people of Mali and will “ensure the continuity of the state and public services.”
Mali’s new leaders emphasized that the military is not interested in retaining power. CNSP said it seeks a “civil political transition” and credible general elections to exercise democracy “through a roadmap that will lay the foundations for a new Mali.”
Keita had served as president of Mali since 2013. He was elected to office just over a year after a coup ousted his predecessor, Amadou Toumani Toure.