Canada condemns coup d’etat which forced Mali’s president to resign: minister

Click to play video: 'International community condemns Mali coup' International community condemns Mali coup
WATCH: The international community is condemning Tuesday's coup in Mali, after armed soldiers forced the country's democratically-elected president to resign. As Eric Sorensen reports, the military mutineers say they want stability, not power. – Aug 20, 2020

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says Canada condemns the junta that forced Mali’s president from power this week.

A distressed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced his resignation on television after armed soldiers fired into the air outside his home and took him into custody Tuesday.

Read more: Mali soldiers behind coup promise elections after president resigns

Soldiers calling themselves the National Committee for the Salvation of the People promised that they would ultimately hand power to a transitional civilian government but gave no timeline.

Condemnation of the coup was strong from many quarters, reflecting international concern about instability in Mali and West Africa amid increasing attacks by Islamic extremists and the ensuing economic fallout, which has been among the drivers of illegal migration to Europe.

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Click to play video: 'Opposition supporters celebrate amid reports of coup in Mali' Opposition supporters celebrate amid reports of coup in Mali
Opposition supporters celebrate amid reports of coup in Mali – Aug 18, 2020

Champagne says Canada, which still has a handful of military officers and police working with the UN in Mali despite wrapping up a year-long helicopter mission last September, called on Malian security forces to follow the constitution and respect human rights.

He also says any Canadians in Mali who need emergency assistance from consular officials should get in touch with the Canadian embassy in Bamako or call Global Affairs Canada’s emergency hotline.

Read more: Mali soldiers detain senior officers, surround president’s home amid fears of coup

In an email to Global News, The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) said all members of the force in Bamako, Mali supporting the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSA) are “safe and accounted for.”

According to the statement, the CAF has “no plans, at this time” to evacuate its personnel from Bamako.

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“However, we continue to monitor the situation in Mali and remain in contact with the CAF personnel assigned to MINUSMA,” the statement reads.

According to CAF, approximately 10 members of the force are working in Bamako.

-With files from Global News and The Associated Press

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