Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced concern over a fresh wave of arrests of high-ranking public officials in Mali, at a time when numerous efforts are being undertaken to help the country overcome the various challenges it is facing.
According to a statement from his spokesperson, Mr. Ban called for the immediate release of all those arrested and urged the junta to refrain from any further actions that might undermine the effective restoration of constitutional rule in Mali.
“These arrests are in contrast to other welcome developments that constitute important steps towards the full return to constitutional order, such as the appointment of Mr. Dioncounda Traoré as interim President of Mali and his decision to nominate Mr. Cheick Modibo Diarra as the interim Prime Minister,” the statement said.
“The Secretary-General calls for the military junta to promptly complete the full transfer of power to civilian rule,” it added.
Elements of Mali's armed forces last month took control of the country and announced the dissolution of the Government led by President Amadou Toumani Toure.
Earlier this month, the military junta handed power back to a civilian administration, after which Mr. Traoré, the former speaker of parliament, was sworn in as interim President, replacing Captain Amadou Sanogo, the leader of the group that had seized power in March.
The political upheaval followed the eruption of clashes between Government forces and Tuareg rebels in the country’s north in January, leading to the mass displacement of civilians. The majority of those uprooted from their villages have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.