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Statement by Minister Simon Coveney T.D. on developments in Mali

“I am deeply concerned by reports of the arrest of the President of the Transition in Mali, Bah N’Daw, Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane, and others by members of the military.

Along with our international partners and the EU, Ireland condemns these actions in the strongest terms, and calls for the immediate release of those detained. In particular, I encourage continued engagement by the transitional authorities in Mali with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) in supporting a successful transition leading to the return to constitutional order and the holding of inclusive and democratic elections.

I welcome the fact that the European Union has stated that it is ready to consider targeted measures against political and military leaders who obstruct the Malian transition.

My Department will continue to monitor the situation in Mali, and to work with our partners in the EU, the United Nations and in the region to support the political transition in Mali.”

Notes for Editors

  • Malian interim Transition President Bah N'Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane were put under arrest by military officers on Monday 24 May. Defence Minister Souleymane Doucore was also arrested.
  • Separatist and Islamist groups have waged an armed insurgency against the government in Mali since 2012. The fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of people, with violence having spilled over into neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
  • The country is facing a severe humanitarian crisis. It is estimated that in 2021, 7.1 million people in Mali are in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • Ireland is supporting stabilisation efforts in Mali through our troop deployment to the United Nations Multidimensional Peacekeeping Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). There are currently 14 Defence Forces personnel deployed with MINUSMA in Mali. 20 Irish Defence Force Personnel are also currently deployed to the EU’s Training Mission in Mali (EUTM).
  • In addition to support provided through our multilateral partnerships, Ireland has provided bilateral funding of over €6 million to partners in Mali since 2014. The majority of funding has been provided through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Plan Ireland.

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