UN Intervenes as Soldiers Arrest the President in Mali Military Coup

MINUSMA personnel distribute Covid-19 prevention kits in Gao, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA
MINUSMA personnel distribute Covid-19 prevention kits in Gao, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA

The United Nations (UN) says it is monitoring the situation in Mali, where soldiers arrested the President and members of his cabinet in a military coup on Tuesday (August 18).

“UN Secretary-General António Guterres continues to follow the developments very closely and with deep concern,” Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman of the UN chief stated Wednesday. Mr Guterres had earlier condemned the mutiny, while calling for constitutional order and the rule of law to be immediately restored.

The UN Security Council has also urged for the immediate release of all government officials and the restoration of constitutional order. The soldiers contend that their action is aimed to prevent the country from the imminent unrest and they will help set up a civilian government by holding new elections.


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Currently, Mali – which is among the poorest countries in the world – is trying to deal with a series of militant attacks and ethnic violence. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta who ruled Mali – a West African country – for the past seven years was forced to resign on Tuesday. He had won a second term in elections in 2018 and since June he has been facing massive street protests.

In recent weeks, the protests have been held calling for him to step down due to alleged corruption and an inability on the part of authorities to handle rising insecurity in the north and central regions.

Meanwhile, operations continue at the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which supports political processes and reconciliation in the country. Peacekeepers also carry out several security-related tasks to ensure stability and protection of civilians.

MINUSMA is the most dangerous UN operation in the world. Nearly 130 peacekeepers serving there have been killed in malicious acts, the UN chief had told the Security Council in June.

The mission was established in 2013 following a military coup and the occupation of northern Mali by radical Islamists the year before. The government and representatives of two armed group coalitions, had signed a peace deal in 2015.

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Rakesh Raman