Former Malian officials return dozens of luxurious vehicles

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 11 2020 08:00 AM

Former Malian officials return dozens of luxurious vehicles 1
In this file photo taken on Sept. 24, 2018 the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, addresses the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, one a day before the start of the General Debate of the 73rd session of the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York. Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced his resignation with immediate effect in the early hours of Aug. 19, 2020, a day after rebel soldiers launched a coup. Don Emmert, AFP

BAMAKO, Mali - Malian ministers and MPs who acquired government limousines and four-wheel-drive cars under ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita have hastened to hand back the vehicles after the new military rulers requested their return.

The junta issued a brief but courteous call on Sunday calling on former lawmakers and ministers to "hand back government vehicles that had been put at their disposal."

They were given until Tuesday to do so.

An AFP journalist who saw the car park where the vehicles have been returned said it was full of high-end vehicles, from German limousines to Japanese 4x4s.

"As of today (Wednesday), we have received 120 vehicles belonging to the state," a garage employee, Oumar Diarra, told AFP.

"There are so many cars that we have had to park some of them elsewhere," a manager at the garage said.

On August 18, rebel troops seized power, ousting Keita after months of protests, fuelled in part by suspicions of endemic corruption and lavish spending under his government.

Former government spokesman and information minister, Yaya Sangare, was the talk of the day on social media after returning five vehicles.

He said he took responsibility for having so many vehicles but defended himself.

"These are cars that I stopped using after the government resigned on June 11, 2020, and I was waiting for the official handover" to a successor, Sangare told AFP.

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