ECOWAS, US condemn forced resignation of Mali PM

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United States have condemned the forced resignation and arrest of Malian Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra by the country's military junta.

In a statement, ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Ouedraogo recalls the decision of the region's leaders, at their extraordinary summit in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, on 26 April, vesting executive power in Mali in Interim President  Diocounda Traore, who acts as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Malian Armed Force.

''Consequently, ECOWAS strongly condemns any act that goes against the Transition in Mali, in particular, military action against  the constituted Authority of the Transition, as well as any form of interference by the military in the political process,'' the statement said.

The 15-member regional bloc reaffirmed its support to the Interim President and urged him to ''take all necessary and immediate measures to form a representative and inclusive government as soon as possible in order  to pursue the ongoing efforts to end the crisis and to bring together all Malians around  the common cause of restoring the territorial integrity and unity of the country, dismantling terrorist networks in the North, and organising free, transparent and inclusive elections''.

In a separate statement, the US condemned the arbitrary arrest and forced resignation of Mr. Diarra and reiterates the demand by the international community for an end to the junta’s interference in Mali’s political affairs.

''These events endanger the anticipated national dialogue and unhelpfully delay a return to constitutional order, and the restoration of the territorial integrity of Mali,'' the US State Department said in a statement obtained by PANA Wednesday.

''They (events) are a clear reminder of the need to hold elections to restore a democratically elected government by April 2013 or as soon as technically feasible. We underline the importance of the respect for rule of law and the guarantee of personal security for all political actors and members of government,'' the statement said.
-0- PANA SEG 12Dec2012

12 december 2012 09:28:03

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