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Mali ex-leader Amadou Toumani Toure in Senegal embassy

Mali’s former President Amadou Toumani Toure is currently at the Senegalese Embassy in the capital city of Bamako, Senegalese President Macky Sall revealed Wednesday.

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Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure speaks to the press as he arrives in New Delhi, India, on January 11, 2012, for a state visit. (RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Mali’s ousted leader Amadou Toumani Toure is at the Senegalese Embassy in the Malian capital of Bamako, Senegal’s President Macky Sall told a press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy Wednesday.

“President Amadou Toumani Toure [is] at this moment on the territory of the residence of the embassy of Senegal in Bamako,” Sall said in Paris, according to the BBC.

Toure was forced out of power in a military coup last month, and resigned on April 8 in exchange for a commitment by the army to hand power over to a civilian authority. His whereabouts were unknown until now.

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The news of Toure’s location comes after the arrest this week of the ex-president’s allies.

Former Prime Minister Modibo Sidibe was arrested late Monday by military police, as were former defence minister General Amadou Cissoko and Bani Kante, a businessman who advised Toure on Libyan investments in Mali, according to Reuters.

Sall, who came to power in Senegal immediately before the coup that toppled Toure, called the situation in neighouring Mali “troubling,” and added that West African leaders were “trying to find a rapid and peaceful solution first of all internally so we can return to the normal constitutional regime and then deal with the partition of Mali.”

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Ethnic Tuareg fighters, uniting under the banner of the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) began launching attacks on towns and army bases in Mali in January, breaking two years of relative peace between the Tuareg and the government.

Along with Islamist militants, the Tuareg fighters have gained control of and declared independence for Mali’s northern desert region.

Soldiers ousted Toure and seized power last month, saying they needed more arms to fight the Tuareg rebellion.

Sall and Sarkzoy also signed a new defence agreement and a 130 million euro ($170 million) loan deal during Wednesday’s meeting in Paris. The first part of the loan, worth 50 million euros, is to be provided at the end of June, according to the Agence France Presse

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120418/mali-ex-leader-amadou-toumani-toure-senegal-embassy