A Tuareg clinic in Kati, Mali, that was recently ransacked. Photo: IRIN/Nancy Palus
The Security Council today urged the military rebels who seized control of the government in Mali to immediately implement the agreement signed last week with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which provides a series of steps to restore constitutional order in the country.
Last month, rebel Malian soldiers took control of the country and announced the dissolution of the Government led by President Amadou Toumani Toure. The country is also dealing with renewed fighting in the north between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, which has uprooted more than 200,000 people since January.
In a statement to the press, the members of the Council reaffirmed the need ?to uphold and respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali and reject categorically any declarations to the contrary,? and demanded ?an immediate cessation of hostilities in the north of Mali by rebel groups.?
The Council also condemned all violence against humanitarian workers after it was reported that seven Algerian diplomats were abducted in the town of Gao in northern Mali last week. The Council called for the immediate release of all abductees and renewed its call to all parties in Mali to seek a peaceful solution through appropriate political dialogue.
In addition, the Council reaffirmed its support to the efforts made by ECOWAS and its mediator, the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaor?, as well as by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, Said Djinnit, and by the African Union, to initiate concrete steps to restore peace and security and protect the sovereignty of Mali.
The members of the Council reiterated their serious concern over the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country, and expressed deep concern at the increased terrorist threat in the north due to the presence among the rebels of members of the terrorist group Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and extremist elements.