Security Council Deplores Forcible Seizure of Power From Democratic Mali

The Security Council today expressed strong condemnation of the forcible seizure of power from the democratically-elected Government of Mali by some elements of the Malian armed forces.

The Council renews calls on the soldier mutineers to ensure the safety and security of all Malian officials and demands prompt release of those detained.

In the past week, the mutineers announced the dissolution of the Government and seized control of the country.

The mutineers demand for a return to constitutional rule.

Media reports say rebel troops appeared on Malian state television to announce they had seized control of the country.

Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure.

The mutiny that reportedly occurred this week also involved an attack on the presidential palace.

Today, the Council urges for the swift restoration of constitutional rule and the democratically-elected Government.

Reports say, Security Council strongly condemns the continued attacks, looting and seizure of territory carried out by rebel groups in the North of Mali.

The 15-member body is alarmed by the presence in the region of the terrorist group Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb as well.

The Council fears the presence of AQ could lead to a further destabilization of the security situation.

The Council calls upon the rebel soldiers to immediately cease all violence and urges all parties in Mali to seek a peaceful solution through dialogue.

The Council also stresses the importance of the safety of civilians and of the respect of human rights.

The Council commends efforts of humanitarian organisations involved and calls on all parties in Mali to allow unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to civilians in need.

On Tuesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced to boost assistance for those who have been displaced by the conflict, particulary those who are living in camps in Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger.

UNHCR also appealed for $35.6 million to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis as the overall number of people who have crossed from Mali into neighbouring countries now stands at close to 80,000.

Reports say anger sparked among the rebel troops since January over a lack of support from Malian Government to help them fight against Tuareg rebels.

Renewed clashes between Government troops and the Tuareg has forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes, leaving them in dire need of shelter, food, and other basic needs.

In addition, humanitarian crisis worsens in Mali as an estimated 130,000 people have been uprooted within and outside resulting resulting from the renewed fighting between government forces and Tuareg rebels.

The Tuareg, a nomadic tribe, have attacked several towns in northern Mali in mid-january and demanding autonomy.

This January, the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) – a Tuareg rebel movement, comprised of many warriors who launched a brutal attack against the Malian state military.

According to reports, MLNA has about 1,000 members and also includes Tuareg soldiers who deserted the Malian army.

The Malian government has claimed that MNLA of having links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Tuareg nomads are present throughout the Sahel region of Africa. Both Mali and Niger have battled Tuareg uprisings in the last decade.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.