UN Chief Carefully Monitoring Mali Crisis after UN Security Council Condemns Unsanctioned Arrests

According to news reports, Colonel Assimi Goita, the acting Vice President of Mali who led the overthrow of former president Ibrahim Boubacr Keita last year, detained top civilian leaders on Monday sine they failed to consult him over a government reshuffle.

However, in a statement following the meeitng, the UN Security Council “strongly condemned the arrest of the transitional President and other officials by elements of the Defense and Security forces in Mali”.

The Security Countil called for the release of all the officials detained without any harm done to them or additional conditions enforced, and urged the Defence and Security personnel to stand down.

In addition, UN ambassadors reiterated their support for the civilian-led transition in Mali and called for it to immediately resume, leading up to elections and constitutional order within the established 18-month timeline agreed following last year’s coup.

News of the civilian leaders’ arrest on Monday inspired concern in UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who stated his Special Representative in the region was working closely with organizations supporting the trasition including the regional economic community ECOWAS and the African Union.

Conversely, the UN mission in Mali, MINUSMA, joined international partners in condemning Monday’s “attempted coup”. These groups also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and emphasized that those “military elements” responsible for holding them will be held “personally responsible.”

Meanwhile, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric stated that MINUSMA was continuing to support the efforts of ECOWAS and also “calls on all actors concerned to cooperate fully with a view to a rapid resumption of the normal course of the transition.”

Mr. Guterres meanwhile, continues to carefully monitor the situation in Mali.