Ban urges quick implementation
Washington - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged late on Saturday quick implementation of a West African accord requiring a military junta in Mali to step down and hand over power to lawful authorities.
The junior officers who seized power in Mali last month have agreed with West African bloc ECOWAS to give up power in return for an amnesty deal and a lifting of sanctions that the regional body had imposed on landlocked Mali.
The deal, brokered late on Friday, came amid growing concern at the situation in northern Mali, which is now torn between the Tuareg rebels who have declared independence and Islamists determined to impose sharia law.
Ban "calls on the junta to expeditiously implement the terms of the framework agreement, which provides for the transfer of power back to the constitutional authorities, as consistently called for by the Security Council and the international community as a whole," said a UN spokesperson.
"The secretary-general urges the junta to ensure the safety and security of all Malian officials, to immediately and unconditionally release all detainees and to refrain from any actions that might undermine the effective implementation of the provisions of the framework agreement," the spokesperson said.