Ousted Mali president arrives in Senegal
Mali's ex-president Amadou Toumani Toure, ousted by the military junta last month, arrived in Dakar with his family late Thursday, the Senegalese president's office said. A Malian military source said Toure had departed with agreement of coup leader.
AFP - Mali's ex-president Amadou Toumani Toure, who formally resigned after being ousted by the military last month, arrived in Dakar late Thursday with his family, the Senegalese president's office said.
Abou Abel Thiam, spokesman for Senegalese President Macky Sall, told AFP that Toure, after arriving at 11:30 pm (2330 GMT), had been taken to the Residence Pasteur where high-ranking guests are lodged.
"He was calm, he was with his entire family" of about 15 people, Thiam said. Senegalese Foreign Minister Alioune Badara Cisse had gone to pick them up in the Malian capital Bamako in the Senagalese presidential plane, he added.
It was not immediately known if Toure would stay in Senegal or was just passing through.
A military source in Bamako had earlier said on condition of anonymity that Toure had departed "with the agreement of Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo", the coup leader, after soldiers posted at the airport had refused to let him leave.
The military source said troops had tried to oppose the former president's departure by firing in the air, provoking mass panic.
A group of renegade soldiers claiming to act against the government's inability to stop a Tuareg rebellion in the north seized control of Bamako on March 22, five weeks before presidential elections.
Following the conquest of the entire northern half of the country by Tuareg rebels and Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters and amid international condemnation, the junta struck a deal brokered by regional powers.
It officially relinquished power to civilian authority a week ago but the ex-junta has since flexed its muscles and detained figures close to the ousted president.
The military Thursday released 22 soldiers and politicians they had arrested earlier this week, a freed lawmaker said.