Mali PM Resigns After Arrest, Coup

Coup leaders force out civilian government

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 11, 2012 1:48 AM CST

(Newser) – Mali's prime minister resigned on state television early today, hours after soldiers who led a recent coup burst into his home, arrested him, and drove him to a military barracks. Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra addressed the nation, saying: "Our country is living through a period of crisis. Men and women who are worried about the future of our nation are hoping for peace. It's for this reason that I, Cheikh Modibo Diarra, am resigning along with my entire government." The move follows weeks of tensions between the military and Diarra's civilian government.

Before his arrest by soldiers loyal to coup leader Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo, Diarra was getting ready to leave the country for Paris and the plane that was to take him was already taxiing at the airport. It's unclear if the trip to France was planned, or if Diarra had gotten wind of the pending arrest and was trying to flee. Diarra, an astrophysicist who previously led one of NASA's Mars exploration programs, was initially seen as in step with Sanogo, but in recent weeks he appeared to be taking stances that conflicted with Sanogo's.

Malian soldiers loyal to coup leader Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo secure the location as he arrives at his headquarters at Kati military base.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)
In this still frame made from video provided by ORTM Mali TV, Mali's Prime Minister Cheikh Modibo Diarra resigns during a broadcast on state television from Bamako, Mali.   (AP Photo/ORTM Mali TV)
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