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Concerns about coup in Mali "very strong": senior UN official

03-23-2012 10:09 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, March 22 (Xinhua) -- B. Lynn Pascoe, UN under- secretary-general for political affairs, said here Thursday that the global organization has significant concerns about the situation in Mali, where the president has been overthrown.

"Clearly a coup d'etat has been carried out," Pascoe said. "Our concerns about this issue are very strong. They should return to a constitutional order as quickly as possible."

Pascoe made the statement to reporters outside the UN Security Council chambers after briefing the council on the developing situation in Mali.

The National Committee for Redressment of Democracy and Restoration of the State (CNRDR) carried out the coup, toppling Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure and announcing on Thursday morning that they had officially taken control over the West African country.

"We also believe its very important that there be no violence and that this be resolved very quickly," said Pascoe.

According to Pascoe, Said Djinnit, special representative of the UN secretary-general and head of the UN Office in West Africa (UNOWA), who was in Bamako days before the coup, is engaged in handling the situation.

"Right now he is working closely with ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and the African Union and I think we will probably be seeing some efforts again as we have done before in West Africa among the three, to see what we can do to resolve these issues quickly," Pascoe said.

The CNRDR has listed several grievances with Toure's government, including the claim that the government has not provided adequate resources to Malians fighting Tuareg rebels in the north of the country.

Pascoe said the UN is concerned that the coup "could actually cause great difficulties against the effort in the north."

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Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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