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Wed Oct 01 16:38:47 SAST 2014

UN Security Council condemns Mali PM arrest, warns of sanctions

Reuters | 11 December, 2012 20:27
Mali's Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra, a former NASA astrophysicist, attends a meeting with political figures from northern Mali, in Bamako, in this August 10, 2012 file photo. Diarra resigned on December 11, hours after he was arrested by soldiers while trying to leave the West African nation. Diarra's arrest and subsequent resignation will complicate efforts to stabilise Mali, where soldiers and politicians remain divided since a coup in March and where the north of the country is occupied by al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters. Picture taken August 10, 2012.
Image by: STAFF / REUTERS

The U.N. Security Council condemned on Tuesday the arrest of Mali's prime minister by members of the army, which led to his resignation and complicates international efforts to push out Islamist extremists in the country's north.

Mali Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra was arrested and forced to resign on Tuesday by soldiers who staged a coup in March, underscoring the military's continuing grip despite giving way to a civilian president and prime minister in April under international pressure.

"The members of the Security Council express their readiness to consider appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against those who prevent the restoration of the constitutional order and take actions that undermine stability in Mali," the 15-member council said in a statement.

Once a beacon of democracy in West Africa, Mali has been mired in crisis since the coup, when ethnic Tuareg rebels and al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters took advantage of the chaos to seize the northern two-thirds of the arid nation.

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Wed Oct 01 16:38:47 SAST 2014 ::