Mali: Military Junta Releases Ousted President, Keita

Mali’s military junta has released ousted President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and allowed him to return to his residence in the capital.

The junta, which calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), made the disclosure in a Facebook post Thursday.

Keita had been arrested alongside other senior government officials in an August 18 coup. In the early hours of August 19, the 75-year-old announced his resignation and dissolved the government, saying his decision was to avoid “bloodshed.” He was held in military custody until his release.

According to Bloomberg, he has been guarded by the military since his release late Wednesday.

The release of Keita and other leaders has been demanded by Mali’s neighbours and allies and international organisations.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has led efforts to solve the political crisis in Mali, had called for his release. It had initially also demanded his reinstatement as president, but softened its stance after meeting with the junta in the capital, Bamako, over the weekend.

Keita was elected to office in 2013, just over a year after his predecessor, Amadou Toumani Toure, was himself ousted in a coup.

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