Ecowas welcomes release of Mali’s former interim president and prime minister from house arrest

Mali junta leader Col. Assimi Goita, with Bah Ndaw and Col. Malick Diaw

Former Malian interim president Bah Ndaw and his prime minister Moctar Ouane have been freed from house arrest, the West African bloc ECOWAS has said.

In a statement released on Friday, ECOWAS said it “welcomes” the move by Mali to lift “all restrictive measures” on the former leaders.

Both men were named as interim civilian leaders after a military coup in August 2020, charged with governing Mali back under civilian rule.

But after a sensitive government reshuffle in May, Mali’s strongman Colonel Assimi Goita overthrew Ndaw and Ouane in a second coup. Goita was later declared interim president.

Advisers to Ndaw and Ouane had indicated that the two leaders had been kept under house arrest after their dismissal.