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Action of Mali's mutinous soldiers condemned worldwide

03-23-2012 14:54 BJT

BAMAKO, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The action of mutinous soldiers in Mali who overthrew the elected government by force on Thursday has drawn criticism worldwide.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday strongly condemned the mutiny in Mali, calling on "those responsible to refrain from any actions that could increase violence and further destabilize the country."

Mutinous soldiers gather in front of the State Television Station in Bamako, capital
of Mali, March 22, 2012. Mali's National Committee for Redressment of Democracy and
Restoration of the State (CNRDR) announced on Thursday morning on Mali's state-owned
television that it had overthrown President Amadou Toumani Toure from power. (Xinhua)

In a statement issued by Ban's spokesman, the UN chief called for the immediate restoration of constitutional rule in Mali.

"The United Nations is ready to engage with all relevant stakeholders, including the leaders in the sub-region and ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) toward this end, so as to preserve the democratic gains made by Mali over the past two decades," the statement said.

The UN Security Council on Thursday also strongly condemned the action of the mutinous soldiers in Mali and demanded the release of all detained officials including some government ministers arrested during the military coup.

A statement of the Security Council said "They (the council members) call on these elements to ensure the safety and security of President Amadou Toumani Toure and to return to their barracks."

The members of the Security Council "demand the release of all detained Malian officials, and call for the immediate restoration of constitutional law and the democratically elected government," said the statement.

Meanwhile, the African Union (AU) said that Jean Ping, chairperson of the AU Commission, has strongly condemned the act of rebellion, which seriously undermines constitutional legality and constitutes a significant setback for Mali and for the ongoing democratic processes on the continent.

Ping has reaffirmed Africa's zero tolerance for any unconstitutional change of government and its total rejection of any seizure of power by force, said an AU statement on Thursday.

Ping urged the mutineers immediately to put an end to their action and to submit themselves to constitutional legality.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission also urged the Malian coup plotters to immediately relinquish power to the rightful government.

A statement issued by the commission Thursday night said the usurpation of power from a democratically-elected government, particularly just over a month before the country is due to go to the polls to elect a new president, is totally condemnable.

The statement described action of the military junta in the West African country as "completely at odds with the provisions of the supplementary protocol on democracy and good governance," saying it seriously undermines the painstaking gains that the ECOWAS region has made in the last two decades to entrench democratic culture and the rule of law.

By this unconstitutional act, the junta has automatically alienated and outlawed itself from the community, the statement added.

The commission also cautioned the rebels against taking advantage of the situation to continue with atrocities and seizure of territory in the north, urging all other armed militias in the north to observe a cease-fire and lay down their weapons.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has said that it will review its annual aid worth over 100 million U.S. dollars to Mali after soldiers staged a coup in the country.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, in an interview with the local broadcaster Europe 1 on Thursday, condemned the military coup and called for "the restoration of constitutional order" in its former colony.

"We condemned the military coup. We are for the respect of democratic and constitutional rules. Elections scheduled for April should occur as soon as possible so that Malians can express themselves," Juppe said.

Tunisia has voiced its concern over the "recent events" in Mali, the state-run TAP press agency reported Thursday.

The Tunisian foreign ministry is closely monitoring events in Mali and hoping for the return of security, stability and the rule of law in the country, TAP quoted a communique released by the ministry as saying.

The rebel soldiers announced through Malian radio and television at 4:40 a.m. local time on Thursday that they stormed the presidential palace, arrested some of the government ministers and toppled Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure.

They declared a curfew in the country and the suspension of the governmental institutions, saying that an inclusive government of national unity would be formed to organize fresh polls as soon as possible.

AU strongly condemns action of mutineers in Mali

The African Union (AU) on Thursday strongly condemned the action of the mutineers who announced that they have taken power in Mali. Full story>>

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

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. Full story>>

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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