The Hindu

Mali coup leaders release two government officials

UN team meets ousted President Keita

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Mali’s military junta has released two senior government officials detained during the coup against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, an ally of Mr. Keita said, as UN human rights officials met overnight with the ousted leader.

There has been no word from Mr. Keita since Tuesday, when he dissolved Parliament and then resigned after being detained at gunpoint, deepening the crisis facing a country already struggling to fend off an insurgency by Islamist militants.

The release of Finance Minister Abdoulaye Daffe and the President’s private secretary, Sabane Mahalmoudo­u, came as junta leaders held discussion­s with political leaders about creating a transition­al authority.

A United Nations human rights team visited Mr. Keita and other detainees late on Thursday, the UN peacekeepi­ng mission, known as MINUSMA, said.

The streets of the capital Bamako were calm for the third straight day on Friday ahead of a rally planned by an Opposition coalition that led protests against Mr. Keita before the coup and has since embraced the mutineers.

The coup leaders have said they acted because the country was sinking into chaos and insecurity, largely the fault of poor government. They said they wanted to rebuild stability and have promised to oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” amount of time.

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