Mali lawmakers barred from parliament
28 March 2012, 07:55
Bamako - Soldiers on Tuesday blocked lawmakers trying to enter the national assembly which had been dissolved by a junta which seized power on March 22, an AFP journalist witnessed.
"We received the order not to allow you to enter," one of the soldiers said to the members of parliament in front of the building.
After the ban, dozens of lawmakers held an "extraordinary session" at the labour exchange, the headquarters of the main trade union.
"During this extraordinary session we denounced the refusal of the soldiers to let us access the national assembly," lawmaker Mohamed Coulibaly told AFP.
"We launch an urgent appeal to regional and international institutions to assist with a rapid return to constitutional order."
The lawmakers also condemned the assault of one of their colleagues on Monday during a rally against the junta attended by about 1 000 Malians.