Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Mali prime minister arrested

11 December 2012, 08:44

Bamako - Malian soldiers arrested Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra late on Monday, accusing him of blocking efforts to stabilise a nation divided by a coup in the capital and the Islamist takeover of the desert north.

"He was arrested ... as he tried to leave for France," said Bakary Mariko, a spoksperson for the group of soldiers who seized power in a March coup. The group remains powerful despite officially handing power back to civilians earlier this year.

Diarra's arrest was confirmed by a diplomat in Mali.

The move will complicate efforts to stabilise the West African nation, where soldiers and politicians remain divided since the coup in March and where the north of the country is occupied by al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters.

Residents in Bamako said the town was quiet in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Mariko said Diarra had been taken to Kati, the military barracks town just outside the capital which still serves as the former junta's headquarters.

"The country is in crisis but he was blocking the institutions," Mariko said. "This is not a coup. The president is still in place but the prime minister was no longer working in the interests of the country."

Officials from Diarra's office were not available for comment.


There have been divisions for months between the former junta, interim President Diouncounda Traore and Diarra, a former Nasa scientist and Microsoft chief for Africa.

Diarra was made prime minister in April after the military officially handed power back to civilians. As the son-in-law of Moussa Traore, a former Malian coup leader and president, he appeared to have good ties with the military.

However, tensions became particularly acute in recent weeks, with analysts saying Diarra, a relative newcomer to Malian politics after years abroad, seemed keen to establish a political base of his own ahead of any future elections.

West African leaders and Western nations have warned that Mali's north has become a safe haven for terrorism and organised crime, but they have struggled to draw up plans to help the country because of the deep divisions in the capital.

Some of Mali's politicians support the idea of a foreign-backed military operation to retake control of the north. Others, including much of the military, say they need only financial and logistical support and insist that Mali can carry out the operation itself.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...