Mali soldiers take control of government, suspend constitution

Mali soldiers take control of government, suspend constitution

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[JURIST] The president of Mali was removed from office on Wednesday after Malian soldiers took control of the government and suspended the constitution. After removing President Amadou Toumani Toure [Al Jazeera profile], the soldiers announced the suspension of the constitution and a national curfew. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon [official profile] said [statement] that he was “following [the events in Mali] with deep concern.” In a statement [text] from the the White House, the US called for the “immediate restoration” of the Malian constitution.

Mali has experienced military turmoil since Taureg rebels began attacking Malian soldiers [Al Jazeera report] in January. Early this month the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) [official website] said that more than 80,000 people had fled Mali [press release] to escape the fighting. In February, the UNHCR appealed for additional funds and resources [report, PDF] to deal with the crisis, after Ban expressed concern [statement] about the growing number of refugees in the region.