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Junta arrests politicians as leadership crisis continues

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-17

Soldiers arrested the leader of one of Mali’s largest political parties on Tuesday just hours after a former premier was also detained by military personnel as world leaders called on the ruling junta to relinquish control to a civil authority.

AP - Soldiers arrested the head of one of Mali’s biggest political parties Tuesday, hours after a former prime minister was detained by military personnel, officials said.

The arrests come amid questions about who is in control of Mali, where the democratically elected president was ousted in a coup last month. The coup leaders recently handed over power to an interim civilian leader, but the junta’s leader also has said he will play an important role in Mali’s political future.

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS, the EU and the United States all want to see the junta back in their barracks and out of politics as soon as possible. The latest arrests suggest that the junta has yet to accept this.

Soumaila Cisse was arrested in front of his home in Bamako, according to Abdoul Malick Diallo, a member of parliament from Cisse’s party. Diallo said that Cisse was hurt during the arrest but that he couldn’t say how serious the injury was.

Cisse was one the front-runners for the presidential election that was due to take place on April 29.

Late Monday, a former Malian prime minister was re-arrested by military personnel just days after being released from custody.

Cheickna Diarra said that Modibo Sidibe was arrested at home Monday night by men who arrived in vehicles marked “military police.” Diarra said he did not know why Sidibe was arrested or where he is being held.

Sidibe was among around a dozen politicians who were arrested immediately after the military coup and who were released following the handover to the civilian interim leader.

Date created : 2012-04-17

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