The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday urged mutineers in Mali to immediately release detained officials, including the country’s president, and “return to their barracks without delay.”
According to the council’s statement, they “underlined the urgent need to restore rule of law and to move towards the return to constitutional order,”
The statement was released ahead of a behind-closed-doors Security Council meeting requested by France and Niger following Tuesday’s dramatic coup in the fragile West African country.
Rebel officers mutinied at a base near Bamako and proceeded into the capital, where they detained President Ibrahim Boubacar, Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, and other government leaders.
A resistance group, M5, also insisted that the constitutional court must be dissolved, while the President must resign before peace can return to the country.
The crisis had erupted after the court nullified results of 31 parliamentary seats in the country’s polls, awarding victory to some other contenders, which the resistance group said was at the instigation of Keita.
On July 10, riots led to the killing of some protesters by security agents.
The Security Council expressed “deep concern” over the putsch and “called on all Malian stakeholders to show restraint and give priority to dialogue to resolve the crisis in their country.”
They also “urged those mutineers to release safely and immediately all the officials detained and to return to their barracks without delay,” according to the statement.
The Security Council expressed its support for statements Tuesday by ECOWAS, in which the West Africa bloc condemned the military coup and vowed to impose financial sanctions.
It also backed a statement by African Union chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat urging the mutineers to “cease all use of violence.” [YahooNews]