EU calls for elections after 'apparent coup' in Mali
(BRUSSELS) - The European Union on Thursday called for democratic elections "as soon as possible" in Mali after renegade soldiers claimed to have ousted the president in a coup.
"I condemn the apparent coup d'Etat in Bamako and the suspension of the republican institutions of Mali," said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Asthon.
"I call for the reestablishment of the constitutional order and the holding of democratic elections as soon as possible," she said. The elections had been due for April 29.
The soldiers fought their way into the presidential palace and forced Amadou Toumani Toure to flee on Thursday, claiming on television to have ousted an "incompetent regime" and dissolved state institutions.
The putschists, calling themselves the National Committee for the Establishment of Democracy, said they had acted due to government's "inability" to put down a Tuareg-led insurrection in the north.
"In this crucial period for Mali, marked by a rebellion in the North, I call on all parties to show responsibility to ensure respect for human life, fundamental freedoms and the integrity of the country," Ashton said.
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