/** labr.global: 323.0 **/
** Topic: Mali UNTM Union HQ Surrounded By Troops **
** Written 10:15 PM Apr 24, 1997 by labornews in cdp:labr.global **
From: Institute for Global Communications <email@example.com> Subject: Mali UNTM Union HQ Surrounded By Troops
INTERNATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF FREE TRADE UNIONS (ICFTU)
Brussels, April 16, 1997 (ICFTU OnLine): According to trade union sources in Mali, the army today (April 16) surrounded the headquarters of the National Workers' Union of Mali (UNTM) in the centre of Bamako, the capital. It used tear gas to disperse demonstrators who were demanding the annulment of the legislative elections of April 13 which, say opposition parties, were riddled with irregularities.
The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) has today sent a message to President Alpha Oumar Knare asking him to withdraw the soldiers surrounding the UNTM's headquarters, recalling the role the national trade union centre played in the democratisation of Mali.
The ICFTU also expressed its support for the call addressed by the UNTM to the political leaders of Mali to enter into negotiations in order to prevent a major political crisis in the country. The General Secretary of the ICFTU, Mr. Bill Jordan, asked the Malian President to take steps to secure such a dialogue.
The official results of the legislative elections have not yet been published, but unofficial announcements that the Alliance for Democracy, the ruling party, had come out ahead were met with scepticism by the opposition parties who point to irregularities, while numerous organisational difficulties prevented many voters taking part in the election. In response to the opposition's calls for demonstrations on Wednesday, the government has said it will ban any such action.
For details contact ICFTU Press at ++322 224 02 12. Other OnLine news on Poptel Bulletin Board ICFTU-Online for geonet users and on the WWW at:http://www.icftu.org