Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) has asked mutinous soldiers in Mali to surrender and restore President Amadou Toumani Toure to power, while promising an effective continental action against the coup they spearheaded.
AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping said a report was being prepared for the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on the military coup staged by junior officers in the West African nation on Thursday.
“The AU strongly condemns this act of rebellion, which seriously undermines constitutional legality and constitutes a significant setback for Mali and for the ongoing democratic processes on the continent,” Ping said in a statement.
The putschists, who quickly formed the National Council for Rehabilitation of Democracy and Restoration of the State (CNRDR) named Capt. Amadou Sanogo as their leader, launched their attacks Wednesday, ostensibly to protest the government's handling of the rebellion in the north.
They then attacked the presidential palace and ousted the democratically-elected President.
“The rebellion has no justification whatsoever, more so given the existence in Mali of the democratic institutions, which provide a framework fir free expression and for addressing any legitimate claims,” Ping said.
“The Commission reaffirms Africa’s zero tolerance for any unconstitutional change of government and its total rejection of any seizure of power by force,” he said, urging the mutineers to immediately end their action and submit themselves to constitutional legality.
The PSC will most likely ostracize the coup leaders and suspend Mali's membership from the AU, thus denying the junta any form of legitimacy and the much-needed diplomatic backing.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 23May2012