The United Nations has gained access to ousted Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse held by junta leaders after Tuesday’s coup, AFP reports.
Keita was last seen on Tuesday when he made a televised resignation from his position as well as the immediate dissolution of his government and the National Assembly.
Junta spokesman Ismaël Wagué however said the ex-president was only being detained for his own protection.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Wagué said the president’s resignation had not been forced.
“There was no coup d’état because the constitutional order is still in force,” he said. “The president of the republic resigned on his own after making an analysis of the country’s situation.”
Following Tuesday’s events, bodies including the UN, AU and ECOWAS all condemned the junta, calling for the immediate release of Keita.
A statement from the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a restoration oforder in the West African country.
“The Secretary-General strongly condemns these actions and calls for the immediate restoration of constitutional order and rule of law in Mali,” Guterres’ spokesperson said in a statement.
“To this end, he demands the immediate and unconditional release of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and members of his cabinet.”