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African Union, UN condemn arrest of Mali’s Keita, demand release | Mali News



The United Nations and the African Union (AU) have condemned the detention of Mali’s president and other top government officials by mutinous soldiers in an apparent coup attempt and demanded they be freed urgently.

“I strongly condemn the forced detention of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali, the Prime Minister [Boubou Cisse] and other members of the Malian government, and call for their immediate release,” the chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said in a statement.

He also denounced “any attempt at unconstitutional change” while urging the mutineers to “cease all use of violence”.

Faki called on the 15-nation West African ECOWAS bloc, the UN and the entire international community to “combine their efforts to oppose any use of force to end the political crisis in Mali”.

Faki’s statement came shortly before UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the detentions of the government officials and demanded their immediate release.

According to a UN spokesman, Guterres called for the “immediate restoration of constitutional order and rule of law” in Mali.

‘Popular insurrection’

One of the leaders of the mutinying soldiers told AFP news agency that “the president and the prime minister are under our control” after being “arrested” at Keita’s residence in the capital, Bamako.

Keita and Cisse were being held at an army base in the town of Kati, where an earlier coup originated in 2012 that toppled then-President Amadou Toumani Toure and contributed to the fall of northern Mali to fighters.

The detentions on Tuesday come amid opposition protests calling for Keita’s arrest that have rocked the crisis-torn country since June.

A spokesman for the opposition coalition behind the demonstrations said the detention of Keita was “not a military coup but a popular insurrection”.

“IBK did not want to listen to his people. We even proposed an alternative but he responded with killings,” Nouhoum Togo, spokesman for the M5-RFP coalition, told Reuters news agency, referring to Keita by his initials.

Keita’s opponents blame the president for Mali’s economic woes, perceived high-level corruption and the failure to contain a worsening security situation that has rendered vast swathes of the country ungovernable.

Although dissatisfaction over the country’s woes has been simmering for a while, the spark for the continuing political crisis was a decision by the Constitutional Court in April to overturn the results of parliamentary polls for 31 seats, in a move that saw candidates with Keita’s party get re-elected.

The protests turned violent earlier last month when three days of clashes between security forces and protesters killed at least 14 people in the worst political strife Mali has seen in years.

Opposition supporters react to the news of a possible mutiny of soldiers in the military base in Kati, at Independence Square in Bamako, Mali [Rey Byhre/Reuters]

Condemn in the strongest terms’

Other nations around the world, including France, a former colonial power in Mali, condemned the mutiny.

The Elysee Palace said in a statement that President Emmanuel Macron had spoken to Keita, along with the leaders of Niger, Ivory Coast and Senegal, and “condemned the attempted mutiny under way”. It did not say when that conversation occurred. 

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said his country had received information about the detentions of Keita and Cisse, RIA news agency reported without providing further details.

He also said, according to the media outlet, that Moscow is concerned about the events in Mali.

The European Union also released a statement about the events unfolding in Mali, rejecting all “unconstitutional changes”.

“The European Union condemns the attempted coup d’etat under way in Mali and rejects all unconstitutional change,” the bloc’s diplomatic chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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