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UN Chief Following Mali Crisis ‘with Concern’ As Security Council Strongly Condemns Arrests

The UN Security
met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss
the derailing of Mali’s transitional government following
the apparent forced departure of both the President and
Prime Minister on Tuesday, by the leader of last August’s
military coup.

According to news reports, the
detention on Monday of top civilian leaders by Colonel
Assimi Goita – acting Vice President – who led the
overthrow of former president Ibrahim Boubacr Keita last
year, was because they had failed to consult him over a
government reshuffle.

In a statement released after
the emergency meeting, the Security
“strongly condemned the arrest of the
transitional President “and other officials by elements of
the Defence and Security forces in Mali”.

They called
for the safe, immediate and unconditional release of all the
officials detained and urged the Defence and Security
personnel “to return to their barracks without

Ambassadors also reaffirmed their support for
the civilian-led transition in Mali and called for its
immediate resumption, leading to elections and
constitutional order within the established 18-month
timeline agreed following the coup last

Unacceptable use of

“They called on all Malian
stakeholders to prioritize building trust, engaging in
dialogue and to be willing to compromise to achieve these
objectives. They affirmed that imposing a change of
transitional leadership by force, including through forced
resignations, is unacceptable. “

News of
their arrest on Monday was met with concern by UN
Secretary-General António Guterres, who said his Special
Representative in the region was working closely with the
regional economic community ECOWAS, the African Union and
others, which are supporting the transition.

The UN
mission in Mali, MINUSMA, joined
international partners in condemning Monday’s “attempted

They demanded the immediate and unconditional
release of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar
Ouane and stressed that those “military elements”
responsible for detaining them will be held “personally
responsible” for their safety.

Dialogue on the

Briefing reporters on Wednesday, UN
Stéphane Dujarric said that MINUSMA
“continues to work closely with the delegation from
ECOWAS, which is currently in Bamako, the capital of

“Our Special Representative and head of the
Peacekeeping mission, El-Ghassim WANE, took part in the
meetings that the ECOWAS delegation was having”, he

He said MINUSMA was continuing to support the
efforts of ECOWAS and “calls on all actors concerned to
cooperate fully with a view to a rapid resumption of the
normal course of the transition, within the framework
provided by the Charter.

‘Crucial’ to resolve

Mr. Dujarric said it was “crucial that this
crisis be resolved urgently as it constitutes an additional
challenge that would negatively affect the implementation of
the Peace Agreement.”

Mr. Guterres meanwhile,
continues to follow the situation in Mali “with concern
and continues to be engaged.”

The Security Council
emergency meeting began at 3pm New York time, and was
requested by France, Niger, Tunisia, Kenya and Saint Vincent
and the

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