More political prisoners freed in Mali
By Tasie Theodore
More of the political prisoners that had been kept in protective custody since the Colonel Assimi Goita-led forces took over the reins of government in Mali have now been freed and permitted to go home.
The latest beneficiaries are former Malian Prime Minister, Boubou Cissé and the erstwhile President of the National Assembly, Moussa Timbine.
Analysts say that the development signals the fact that the now ruling National Committee for the Salvation of the People has become further emboldened that it is fully in charge in the country. It is equally being interpreted as a strategic move to get some of the elements of the ousted regime find a place in the transitional Government of National Unity that is presently being negotiated.
Former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita had previously been released and at the moment all eyes are on the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS which has also seemingly acceded now to the ground realities in Mali and announced, from the outcome of, and resolutions from the extraordinary session on the crisis held on Saturday, that its demands had now been reduced to the establishment of a transitional government, and the commencement of a transition to civil rule programme that would be terminated at the end of twelve months, with the conduct of fresh presidential and legislative polls.
There is also a promise emanating from the ECOWAS Heads of States summit that sanctions placed on the Sahelian nation would be lifted as more progress is recorded on the political front.