UN Decries “Forcible Seizure” of Power in Mali

Posted March 26th, 2012 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations Security Council says it strongly condemns the “forcible seizure of power” from Mali's democratically elected government.

In a statement released on Monday, the world body called on “mutinous troops” to cease all violence and return to their barracks.

The Security Council demanded that constitutional order be restored and elections be held in late April as previously planned.

Earlier on Monday, hundreds of people demonstrated in the capital, Bamako against last week's military coup.

The African Union has suspended Mali's membership and the United States and European Union continue to recognize President Amadou Toumani Touré as the country's leader. Mr. Touré who was due to step down at the end of his second term weeks from now.

The renegade troops say they took power in order to launch a more effective response to an ethnic Tuareg rebellion in the north.

Since the coup late Wednesday, Tuareg rebels have advanced against northern towns.

Heavily-armed Tuareg separatists started attacking army bases in Mali's desert in January, after many Tuareg fighters returned from Libya.

Tuareg nomads have periodically launched uprisings for greater autonomy in Mali and Niger.