Prime Minister of Mali Resigns Following his Arrest

Cheick Modibo Diarra, the Prime Minister of Mali resigned on state television only hours after he had been arrested when he attempted to leave the country. Diarra declared on the television that he was resigning, but would not give a reason he had decided to resign.

A spokesman for soldiers, who in a coup on March 21 seized power, said the resignation from Diarra following his arrest was not another coup and another prime minister was to be named soon.

Diarra, said the spokesperson, had been arrested while attempting to leave Mali after he had incited trouble. Since April, Diarra has been the Prime Minister, when the army gave power back to the civilians.

A member of a group of Diarra’s supporters said Diarra was arrested late Monday by a number of soldiers. The soldiers told the man that Captain Sanogo had sent them to make the arrest. Sanogo was the leader of the coup in March. The source was present during Diarra’s arrest and said the soldiers smashed down the Prime Minister’s door to his residence and took him out of the house rather violently.

One insider said that Diarra’s resignation had been prompted by pressure he was receiving from the soldiers behind the original coup. He said he believes the army just wants the prime minister and current interim president to know that the army still are the ones in control.

For a number of weeks, there has been tension mounting between Diarra and the soldiers who have led the coup in Mali in March.

Diarra organized a demonstration last weekend that called for a resolution from the UN to support a military intervention that was planned, to retake northern Mali from armed factions.

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