Thousands of people gathered in Bamako on Friday to celebrate “the victory of the people”, three days after the coup d’état that overthrew Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, and on the eve of the arrival of a western mission -african.
In central Bamako, thousands of opposition supporters, who have been demonstrating since June to demand the departure of President Keïta, known as “IBK”, celebrated his fall at the call of the opposition coalition of the 5 Movement. June-Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP).
“We won (…) it is the victory of the people”, jubilated Mariam Cissé, 38 years old.
A mission from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) expected on Saturday will be led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, accompanied by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Niger, Kalla Ankourao.
The junta will receive this delegation “with pleasure” on Saturday, an official of the junta assured AFP, while several demonstrators in Bamako held up signs hostile to the West African organization which demanded Thursday the “recovery” of the president Keïta, who had been in power since 2013.
Thursday evening, the putschists had allowed a UN team to visit the personalities it detains, including the overthrown president and his Prime Minister Boubou Cissé, arrested with others by the military during their coup d’état Tuesday.
“Yesterday in the evening a team of #Human Rights from Minusma went to #Kati as part of its mandate to protect human rights and was able to gain access to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta as well as to the other detainees “, the UN mission in Mali posted on Twitter.
– Still 17 inmates –
The putschists are holding back the personalities arrested at the Kati military camp, in the suburbs of Bamako, which has become the center of the new power.
“We have authorized a UN human rights mission in Mali to visit all 19 prisoners in Kati, including ex-president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and ex-prime minister Boubou Cissé,” said a junta official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP.
Other personalities arrested include the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Security, Generals Ibrahima Dahirou Dembélé and M’Bemba Moussa Keïta, President of the National Assembly Moussa Timbiné and the Army Chief of Staff , General Abdoulaye Coulibaly.
“We freed two prisoners, the former Minister of Finance and the Economy Abdoulaye Daffé and Sabane Mahalmoudou”, the president’s private secretary, said the junta official, “it is proof that we respect the rights of Man “.
Abdoulaye Daffé is considered close to the Sharif of Nioro, a Muslim authority and mentor to Imam Mahmoud Dicko, a leading figure in the protest.
– IBK “tired but serene” –
The deposed president and his prime minister were transferred to a villa in Kati, a garrison town near Bamako, where they are deprived of television, radio and telephone, according to two people who attended the visit, including an official of the junta.
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“Their conditions of detention are acceptable,” the Malian president “looked tired but calm,” according to one of these sources. As for Boubou Cissé, he was “Olympian calm”.
The others are being held in the premises of a training center in Kati, where they “sleep on mattresses and share the same television”, according to witnesses interviewed by AFP.
Officials of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) set up by the military and headed by a 37-year-old colonel, Assimi Goïta, met Thursday with members of civil society and political leaders, including representatives of the parties of the majority supporting IBK.
The junta intends to set up “a transitional council”, with a president who will be “a soldier or a civilian”. She announced the reopening of land and air borders on Friday, even if the countries of West Africa have decided to close theirs with Mali, except for basic foodstuffs, medicines and energy.
In addition, the Malian opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé, kidnapped by suspected jihadists on March 25, in the midst of the legislative campaign, sent letters to his family, without contact with him for months, announced Friday the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
This is one of the first proofs of the life of the former presidential candidate of 2013 and 2018, even if President Keïta had assured in mid-June that his rival was “alive”.
sd-siu-mrb / stb / ayv /
Video: Mutiny in Mali: President IBK and the Prime Minister arrested by soldiers (France 24)
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