The US on Wednesday “strongly” condemned a “mutiny” in Mali, calling on military authorities to ensure the safety of detained government officials and their families.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US “calls on all political and military actors to work towards a restoration of constitutional government.”
“We urge all stakeholders in Mali to engage in peaceful dialogue, to respect Malians’ rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and to reject violence,” he said in a statement.
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned after being detained by soldiers Tuesday. Prime Minister Boubou Cisse was also detained.
Tensions erupted in Mali in 2012 following a failed coup and a rebellion by Tuareg separatists that ultimately allowed al-Qaeda-linked militant groups to take control of the northern half of the country.
Keita, 75, came to power in 2013 but has been criticized by some who say he has failed to protect them from terrorist attacks mostly in the northern and central part of the country.
Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, suffers from the presence of several terror groups, despite the French, Malian and UN peacekeepers who carry out counter-terrorism operations.
A 2015 peace agreement between the government and Tuareg rebel groups could not be implemented.
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