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African Union Condemned Mali President, Prime Minister Arrest, Demand Immediate Release

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The African Union has condemned the arrest and detaining of Mali’s president and Prime Minister by mutineering troops and demanded their immediate release.

“I forcefully condemn the arrest of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 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 tweet in French.

He also condemned “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 United Nations and the entire international community to “combine their efforts to oppose any use of force to end the political crisis in Mali”.

One of the leaders of the mutineering soldiers told AFP 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 are now being held in an army base in the town of Kati, an official at the prime minister’s office said.

Their arrest comes after months of protests calling for Keita’s arrest that have rocked the crisis-torn country.

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