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AU demands release of Mali President Keita, others



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The African Union (AU) has demanded the immediate release of Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and other top government executives who have all been detained following a coup.

The call was made on Wednesday by Chairman of AU, Cyril Ramaphosa who also demanded an immediate return to civil rule and a swift return of the military to their barracks.

“President Ramaphosa demands that the Malian military release from detention the President, the Prime Minister, Ministers and other government executives.

President Ramaphosa calls for an immediate return to civilian rule and for the military to return to their barracks,” said a statement from South African President Ramaphosa’s office.

Read also: Mali’s President Keita resigns, dissolves cabinet

Earlier, the European Union had also called for Mr Keïta’s release, and an immediate return to civilian rule.

This came after military officers who staged the coup against President Keita, pledged to form a civilian transitional government to quickly organize fresh elections.

Dressed in combat fatigues and sat behind a wooden desk, five soldiers appeared on state television earlier on.

The spokesman for the mutineers, Col Wague, who call themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, said they had decided to act to prevent Mali from falling further into chaos.

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