Mali PM's resignation 'not a coup'
11 December 2012, 15:56
Paris - Malian Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra's resignation after his arrest by soldiers is not a coup and a new premier will be named soon, the country's ex-junta spokesperson said on Tuesday.
"This is not a new coup d'etat," Bakary Mariko told France 24 television, after Diarra's arrest on the orders of Mariko's boss, former coup leader Amadou Sanogo.
Mariko said Diarra was "not a man of duty" and added that a successor will "be named in the coming hours by the president".
Diarra, an astrophysicist who has worked on several Nasa space programmes and served as Microsoft chairperson for Africa, was due to leave for Paris on Monday for a medical check-up.
The resignation plunges further into chaos a country already effectively split in two after armed Islamists linked to al-Qaeda and Tuareg rebels took control of the vast desert north.