UN condemns Mali PM arrest by army, warns of sanctions

By REUTERS
December 11, 2012 20:20

 
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UNITED NATIONS - The UN 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 Qaida-linked Islamist fighters took advantage of the chaos to seize the northern two-thirds of the arid nation.

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