Wave of arrests in Mali including ex-PM: Family sources

AFP , Tuesday 17 Apr 2012

Mali's junta arrests several high-ranking figures loyal to the ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure including former prime minister and former defence minister

Malian Interim President Dioncounda Traore, center left, is congratulated by coup leader Amadou Haya Sanogo after being sworn in at a ceremony in Bamako. (AP Photo)

Former Malian prime minister Modibo Sidibe was arrested overnight along with several other high-ranking figures, both civilian and military, family sources said Tuesday.

Those arrested were taken to the headquarters of the junta that seized power last month before handing it back to an interim president, Dioncounda Traore, who took office on Thursday, sources added.

"Modibo Sidibe was arrested at his home by several armed men including two or three wearing masks," a family member told AFP. Sidibe was prime minister from 2007 to 2011.

Family sources also said former defence minister Sadio Gassama and Hamidou Sissoko, who was ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure's personal chief of staff, were also picked up at their homes and taken to the military camp and junta headquarters in Kati, some 15 kilometres (10 miles) from the capital Bamako.

A Malian security source confirmed the arrests and said the reason for the arrests would be announced "when the time comes."

Short link: