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UN chief following developments in Mali very closely and with deep concern: spokesperson

By PTI Updated: Aug 20, 2020 11:54 am

United Nations, Aug 20 (PTI): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is continuing to follow developments in Mali very closely and with deep concern, after soldiers arrested President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and several members of his Cabinet in a military coup, his spokesperson has said.

The UN Mission in the country is also following the situation and closely monitoring the developments, Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric told journalists on Wednesday.

The Secretary-General is continuing to follow developments in Mali very closely and with deep concern, he said.

Dujarric said UN’s colleagues on the ground are emphasising that the work of the UN peacekeeping Mission must and will continue in support of the people of Mali and in close liaison with the Malians, including with the Malian security and defence forces in the North and Center, where the situation is still very worrying.

In his statement on Tuesday, the Secretary-General had strongly condemned the military mutiny, which culminated in the arrest of President Keita and members of his government.

The Secretary-General calls for an immediate restoration of constitutional order and rule of law in Mali,” Dujarric said on Tuesday.

The UN Chief reiterates his calls for a negotiated solution and peaceful resolution of their differences and expresses his full support for the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis, including through the good offices of his Special Representative.

Guterres also urges all stakeholders, particularly the defence and security forces, to exercise maximum restraint and uphold the human rights and individual freedoms of all Malians.

Like the UN chief, Council members have strongly condemned the mutiny and underlined the urgent need to restore rule of law and to move towards the return to constitutional order, according to a statement issued on Wednesday.

Mutinous soldiers stormed the capital and arrested Ke ta, who has led Mali for the past seven years.

The Malian President had announced his resignation on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, operations continue at the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which supports political processes and reconciliation in the country.

Peacekeepers also carry out several security-related tasks to ensure the stability and protection of civilians.

Nearly 130 peacekeepers serving in MINUSMA have been killed in malicious acts, the UN chief had told the Security Council in June.

The mission was established in 2013 following a military coup and the occupation of northern Mali by radical Islamists the year before. The government and representatives of two armed group coalitions signed a peace deal in 2015.

By PTI Updated: Aug 20, 2020 11:54:12 am