Mali interim Vice President Assimi Goita frees political and military figures

They former prisoners would "remain at the disposition of the courts if needed".

Mali interim Vice President Assimi Goita. Picture: AFP

BAMAKO - A dozen political and military figures arrested during Mali's coup have been released, including former prime minister Boubou Cisse, the transition authorities announced.

The interim Vice President Assimi Goita issued an official statement late on Wednesday saying "the political and military personalities arrested on August 18 have been set free".

They would however "remain at the disposition of the courts if needed".

Former national assembly speaker Moussa Timbine was among those released as were eight generals.

The rebels put in place a president and a transition government while retaining a grip on power.

A transition government tasked with leading Mali back to civilian rule was appointed on Monday, with numerous members of the junta occupying key posts, including Goita as vice president.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Tuesday lifted its tough sanctions on Mali after recording "notable advances towards constitutional normalisation".

The 15-nation group called for the civilian and military figures detained during the bloodless coup to be freed.

ECOWAS has also demanded the dissolution of the junta, which calls itself the National Council for the Salvation of the People.