Soldiers Arrest Mali President, Prime Minister

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Mutineering soldiers in Mali on Tuesday detained President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, one of their leaders said.

“We can tell you that the President and the Prime Minister are under our control,” the leader, who requested anonymity, told AFP.

He added that the pair had been “arrested” at Keita’s residence in the capital, Bamako.

Earlier, soldiers launched a mutiny from the nearby garrison town of Kati.

A European diplomat had said a small number of members of the national guard “apparently angered by a pay dispute” had seized a munitions depot but were reported to have since been surrounded by other government troops.

Earlier, the Norwegian Embassy in Mali alerted its citizens of possible unrest, advising them to stay at home.

In June, opponents asked Keita, who had spent two out of his five years second term in office, to step down.

A resistance group, M5, also insisted that the constitutional court must be dissolved, while the President must resign before peace can return to the country.

The crisis had erupted after the court nullified results of 31 parliamentary seats in the country’s polls, awarding victory to some other contenders, which the resistance group said was at the instigation of Keita.

On July 10, riots led to the killing of some protesters by security agents.

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