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Intl community should assist crisis settlement in Mali, Sahel-UNSC

March 27, 2012, 8:44 UTC+3

The Sahel region is currently in the grip of a food crisis, with some 15 million people estimated to be at risk of food insecurity

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UNITED NATIONS, March 27 (Itar-Tass) — The UN Security Council has strongly condemned the violent seizure of power and the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Mali and called on the rebel forces to stop the violence and return to barracks. In a statement the UN Security Council President, approved on Monday, members of the Council called for the restoration of the constitutional order and holding elections in Mali under the previously approved schedule.

The UN Security Council expressed “serious concern over the security situation and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Sahel region” (countries around the Sahara desert). According to Security Council members, the situation in the Sahel region “is aggravated by drought, food shortages and the return of thousands of people after the Libyan crisis,” as well as by the presence there of armed groups and terrorist groups and proliferation of arms.

The Security Council members in this connection called on the national authorities, as well as international, regional and sub-regional organisations to “help settle the crisis in Mali and in the Sahel region within the framework of a comprehensive strategy to satisfy the current and long-term needs, including security, development and humanitarian assistance.”

Due to poor rainfall and failed harvests, the Sahel region is currently in the grip of a food crisis, with some 15 million people estimated to be at risk of food insecurity. Late last week, rebel Malian soldiers took control of the country and announced the dissolution of the Government led by President Amadou Toumani Toure. On Thursday, there was a coup in the capital of Mali - Bamako. The military issued a statement saying that “the constitution was suspended and state institutions are dissolved.” The National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy and Revival of the State formed by the rebels under the command of Captain Amadou Sanogo announced the suspension of the constitution, dissolution of state institutions and the introduction of a curfew.

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