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UN condemns Mali mutiny

March 23, 2012, 5:01 UTC+3

WB suspends aid

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UNITED NATIONS, March 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Members of the UN Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned the “forcible seizure of power” by mutinous Malian military who dissolved the government and seized control of the country, and called for a return to constitutional rule.

In a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant of the United Kingdom, which holds the Council’s presidency this month, the 15-member body called on the rebel soldiers to ensure the safety and security of President Amadou Toumani Toure, and return to their barracks. It also urged to free all arrested Mali ministers.

“The members of the Security Council call for the immediate restoration of constitutional rule and the democratically-elected government,” the statement said and urged to display maximum restraint, prevent violence, and preserve sovereignty and territorial integrity of Mali.

Also on Thursday the World Bank and the African Development Bank announced they were suspending development aid to Mali after the coup.

They said they were joining the African Union and the West Africa regional bloc ECOWAS in "condemning the military coup, urging a speedy resolution of the crisis and calling for the restoration of constitutional government to preserve the development gains of the country and its people."

"Our development operations are suspended, with the exception of emergency assistance," they said in a joint statement.

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