Kenyan official stranded in Mali after coup

2012-03-22 20:09

Nairobi - Kenya's foreign minister and other government officials were stranded in a hotel in the Malian capital following a coup by mutinous soldiers, a statement said on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula was among African foreign ministers who were in Bamako for an African Union meeting on peace and security.

"Wetangula and other government officials accompanying him are all safe in their hotel in Bamako, Mali," Kenya's foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The government is in touch with the Kenyan delegation and is keenly observing the unfolding scenario and awaiting for more information on the state of security."

Wetangula said on Facebook: "Situation worsening, curfew imposed. Airport closed. Heavier gunfire can be heard repeatedly."

The renegade soldiers stormed the presidency overnight and ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure hours after seizing the state broadcaster and announcing taking over power.

Calling themselves the National Committee for the Establishment of Democracy, the troops said they had acted due to government's "inability" to put down a Tuareg-led insurrection in the north.