Mali : Former Transitional Leaders Take Court Action
Ex-President Bah Ndaw and PM Moctar Ouane who have been under detention since May 28, 2021 have hired a lawyer to seek for their liberation.
Several months after the second coup d’état in Mali (May 24), that saw Colonel Assimi Goita move from the post of vice-president to President, the fates of the former transitional President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouene are still on the pendulums. The two former leaders have remained under house arrest and deprived of their freedom of movement, without any legal basis. To seek for their liberation, the two personalities on Thursday, July 15, 2021 solicited the services of a lawyer, Mamadou Ismaila Konate.
According to lawyer Mamadou Ismaila Konate, the current Transitional President, Assimi Goita has to liberate the former president and the former prime minister, whom he overthrew, to regain their full freedom of movement. “The first judicial step which is very urgent will consist of depositing a complaint at the ECOWAS Court of Justice highlighting the violations of the rights of these two personalities and personally implicating Colonel Goïta and the State of Mali.” I will he added, “refrain from issuing an ultimatum but I am waiting for an appointment to meet him (Goita) or the authorities, otherwise, I will launch a legal action and the coming week will be decisive,” he reiterated.
Amnesty International's Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Samira Daoud, said the house arrest was “ordered by Colonel Goita, among others, without judicial authorization.” It amounts to “arbitrary detention” in violation of the Malian Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Mali, Daoud emphasized. Associated Press reports that, the legal action comes after several failed promises made by Maj. Baba Cisse, special advisor to President Assimi Goita, with regards to the release of the leaders, “the release of the two arrested leaders will be done gradually for the obvious security reasons.”
Apart from the two leaders, Generals Mohamed Lamine Ballo and Souleymane Doucoure, appointed Minister of Public Security and Civil Protection, and Defense Minister, respectively, are also still being held at the Kati military camp. Meanwhile, the West African regional bloc ECOWAS that has suspended Mali from its activities, the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations and many human rights organizations have called and are still calling for an end to the house arrest of the leaders.