Rebel soldiers holding Mali president, PM: govt official

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 30, 2020 Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita poses for a photo during the G5 Sahel summit in Nouakchott. – Mutineering soldiers in Mali on August 18, 2020 detained President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, one of their leaders said. “We can tell you that the president and the prime minister are under our control,” the leader, who requested anonymity, told AFP. He added that the pair had been “arrested” at Keita’s residence in the capital Bamako. Earlier, soldiers launched a mutiny from the nearby garrison town of Kati. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)

BAMAKO, Mali (AFP) — Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse are both being held by rebel soldiers, a senior government official confirmed to AFP on Tuesday.

“The prime minister and the president were driven by rebel soldiers to Kati in armored vehicles,” said Boubou Doucoure, who works as Cisse’s director of communications.

He added that both men were now at Kati, a town near the capital Bamako which hosts an important military base.

Soldiers arrested both political leaders in the capital late Tuesday afternoon after launching a mutiny and seizing control of the Kati base earlier in the day.

© Agence France-Presse