UN calls for 'calm, unconditional' release of Malian officials

Antonio Guterres says UN officials are working closely with international actors to support ongoing political transition.

UN calls for 'calm, unconditional' release of Malian officials

The UN's top official on Tuesday called for the "calm and unconditional" release of senior Malian officials arrested by the country's army.

"I am deeply concerned by news of detention of civilian leaders of the Malian transition. I call for calm & their unconditional release. My Special Representative is working closely with ECOWAS, the AU & all other international actors supporting the ongoing political transition," Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Twitter.

Mali's military late on Monday arrested the country's interim president, prime minister, and defense chief, transporting them to a military base near the capital.

A military escort accompanied President Bah N'Daw, who leads the transitional government, along with Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and Defense Minister Souleymane Doucoure to the Kati military camp located 15 kilometers (9 miles) northwest of the capital Bamako, the pan-African media outlet Jeune Afrique reported, quoting diplomatic sources.

The arrest came just hours after the appointment of a new government following consultations between N'Daw and civil society groups. Those meetings preceded the resignation earlier this month of the previous government led by Ouane, who was reappointed by N'Daw to form a new government.

Meanwhile, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the officials.


Hüseyin Demir