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Countries, blocs urge Mali junta to hand over power (2)

(Xinhua)

16:24, March 28, 2012

The decision was made at an extraordinary summit held in Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote d'Ivoire, whose President Alassane Ouattara chairs ECOWAS.

The punitive measure followed the African Union's suspension of Mali on Friday. The AU reiterated zero tolerance for any unconstitutional change of government and its total rejection of any seizure of power by force.

A group of soldiers calling themselves the National Committee for Redressement of Democracy and Restoration of the State (CNRDR) on Thursday toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure, accusing him of poorly handling the Tuareg rebels in northern Mali.

In the latest developments, the CNRDR on Tuesday evening announced the promulgation of a 69-article "basic act" as the country's new constitution during a transitional period to guarantee the rule of law in the country and a "pluralist democracy."

Earlier on Monday, the UN Security Council expressed its strong condemnation of the coup d'etat in Mali and called for order to be restored in the country.

"The Security Council strongly condemns the forcible seizure of power from the democratically-elected government of Mali by some elements of the Malian armed forces," it said in a statement

"The Security Council condemns the acts initiated and carried out by mutinous troops ... and demands they cease all violence and return to their barracks," it said.

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