Security Council condemns Mali PM arrest

2012-12-11 21:12
(Omar Barry, AFP/Islamic Relief)

(Omar Barry, AFP/Islamic Relief)

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New York - The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned the arrest of Mali's prime minister by the armed forces and renewed a threat to impose sanctions on those who threaten the country's "constitutional order."

UN leader Ban Ki-moon is also "troubled" by the new turmoil in the African nation, where Islamist militants and rebels have taken over half the country, his spokesperson said.

"The members of the Security Council condemn the arrest, on 10 December 2012, of the prime minister of Mali, Mr Cheick Modibo Diarra, by members of the Malian Armed Forces," said a council statement.

The 15-nation body said the action contravenes repeated UN calls for the Malian military to stop interfering in the west African nation's transition.

"The members of the Security Council express their readiness to consider appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against those who prevent the restoration of the constitutional order and take actions that undermine stability in Mali," added the statement.

The UN council called on interim president Dioncounda Traore to "swiftly reappoint an inclusive government of national unity."

Islamists and rebels took over the northern half of Mali in March, taking advantage of a military coup in Bamako. Despite the appointment of an interim government the army has been accused of continually holding on to power.

Cheick Modibo Diarra quit on Tuesday under pressure from the coup leaders, who oppose a foreign-aided military intervention to drive out Islamists.

The UN council stressed its "commitment to authorising as soon as possible the deployment of an African-led international support mission in Mali."

France is drawing up a resolution giving a mandate to an international force. But negotiations have been prolonged by United States opposition to sending just an African-led force to Mali.

UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said UN leader Ban Ki-moon was also "troubled by what happened in Mali." The spokesperson said the arrest "underscores the need for political stability" in the country.

Read more on:    un security council  |  dioncounda traore  |  ban ki-moon  |  mali  |  west africa
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