Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday condemned the military coup in Mali and called for the release of arrested government officials and their families as well as assurances about their safety.

Pompeo labeled Tuesday’s events a “mutiny” and called on “all political and military actors to work towards a restoration of constitutional government.”

“The United States strongly condemns the August 18 mutiny in Mali as we would condemn any forcible seizure of power,” the secretary said in a statement.

“We urge all stakeholders in Mali to engage in peaceful dialogue, to respect Malians’ rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and to reject violence.”

The secretary’s remarks echo condemnation from other international leaders and regional organizations, including the European Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union.

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced his resignation late Tuesday night after being arrested, along with the country’s prime minister, by military officials leading the coup.

The military group, which identifies itself as the National Committee for the Salvation of People (CNSP), said in an address to the nation it would oversee a political transition, new elections and a curfew, CNN reported

A member of the CNSP, Colonel Major Ismael Wague, accused Keita’s government of corruption and failure to address threats by extremist groups in the region, among other grievances, CNN reported. 

The coup was welcomed by anti-government protesters in Mali’s capital city of Bamako who had taken to the streets since June calling for the president to step down, The Associated Press reported.

Tags Mali Mike Pompeo

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