Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service — DAWNS Digest.

Coup in Mali!

Ever since the downfall of the Gaddafi regime, militias from a the Touareg tribal group, which backed Gaddafi, have been on the run and attacking communities in Northern Mali. Some estimates put the number of people displaced by the fighting at 200,000. There were reports throughout the day yesterday that soldiers upset with the way the Malian government was handling its conflict with Toauregs in northern Mali had taken up arms against the government. Now, late breaking word is that a group of disaffected soldiers have deposed President Amadou Toumani Toure. “The soldiers appeared on state television Thursday morning after a night of gunfire around the presidential palace, announcing they had created a new committee to rule the country…’The long night has ended with a group of soldiers making a declaration on national television – the national television station that was occupied by soldiers Wednesday morning – and they declared they had ended the regime of Amadou Toumani Toure, and put in place the ‘National Committee for the Recovery of Democracy and the Restoration of State,’ following an attack at the presidential palace and following the protest at the Kati military camp, directed by Captain Amadou Aya Sanogo.” said Traore. “The captain told the population to stay calm and said the committee does not have any ambitions to hold on to power.” A number of ministers have been arrested, but the whereabouts of President Toure remain unclear. There were reports that the president had been moved to a safe location away from the fighting. (VOA http://bit.ly/GN6vKe)

Russia and China Support A Security Council Call for Political Transition in Syria

A big diplomatic milestone was reached as Russia supported a Security Council statement backing Kofi Annan’s peace effort and calling a transition to democracy in Syria. From the statement: “The Security Council expresses its full support for the efforts of the Envoy to bring an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations, secure humanitarian access, and facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition.” (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/GJBiwb)