As world leaders condemn the latest coup in Mali, the military has said that both interim President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane have been stripped of their positions.
The junta accused both of “sabotage” in the transition quest of the country.
It added that it would “proceed as normally, and the scheduled elections will be held in 2022.”
This came a day after the military seized both men alongside defence minister Souleymane Doucouré in an apparent coup in the unstable West African nation.
This is Mali’s second coup in nine months.
Ndaw and Ouane had been tasked with overseeing an 18-month transition back to civilian rule which was billed to end with an election next year March.
But the leader of the latest coup, Assimi Goïta, a colonel, in a televised statement on Tuesday, accused the civilian leaders of misrule for failing to avert the country’s nationwide strikes that have lingered for over a week.
Goïta was also behind last year’s coup. He buckled down to international pressure by putting in place a transitional government which he made himself the vice-president.
The strongman has once again seized power and reneged on the agreements from last year.
Monday’s coup came after the civilian government had a cabinet reshuffle that replaced two military officers.
Goïta said the government should have consulted him before announcing a new cabinet.
His rhetorics and actions have drawn wide condemnation from world leaders, some of whom have threatened to slam sanctions on him and other officials.
Nigeria’s federal government said the military’s action was “totally unacceptable and might derail the peace bullding efforts and timetable for the retum of democratic governance m Mali.”
Abuja further demanded the “immediate and unconditional release” of the detained leaders.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has also called for the release of the leaders and the respect for the Malian constitution.
French President Emmanuel Macron described the arrests in the francophone African country as a “coup d’état” which is “unacceptable” and could warrant “targeted sanctions on the protagonists.”
United Nations chief, António Guterres, called for calm while representatives from ECOWAS, AU and other international actors broker a civilian transition.