UN, African regional bodies expresses concern over situation in Mali

United Nations

The United Nations and various regional bodies in Africa have voiced concern over the situation in Mali after the detention of civilian leaders by the military.

Mali’s transitional President Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were reportedly taken by force Monday to the Kati military camp following the transitional president’s announcement of his appointment of members of the government on the proposal of the prime minister.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is continuing to monitor the evolving situation in Mali very closely, said his spokesman on Tuesday.

Guterres, who was being briefed on the latest developments in the country, continues to call for calm and the immediate release of the detained civilian leaders, said Guterres’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

“We are working closely with the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) and of course the African Union and all other international actors that are supporting the ongoing political transition in Mali,” he told a daily press briefing.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali continues to monitor the latest developments and reiterates its strong condemnation of the arrest of N’Daw and Ouane, as well as some of their colleagues, said Dujarric. “This action has serious consequences for Mali and the region as a whole.”

UN staff in Mali are seeking access to those detained as soon as possible, he said.

The Local Transition Monitoring Committee in Mali demanded on Monday “the immediate and unconditional release” of the transitional president and prime minister.

In a joint press release published Monday night, the committee, composed of members of ECOWAS, the African Union, and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, expressed its deep “concern” over the situation in Mali and strongly condemned “the attempted coup de force” of detaining the transitional president, prime minister and some of their collaborators by military officers.

The committee also reaffirmed its “firm support” for the transitional authorities by demanding that the process of political transition resume and conclude on time after an 18-month interim period.

“The international community rejects in advance any act imposed by coercion, including forced resignations,” the statement said.

The mediation team of ECOWAS led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan left Ghana on Tuesday on a mission to Mali.

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