US favours independent probe in Maldives

US favours independent probe in Maldives

The US government backs an independent mechanism to investigate the transfer of power in the Maldives, the US State Department has said.

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake Monday told reporters at a media briefing here that the present Maldivian President Mohammed Waheed Hassan has agreed to such an investigation, Xinhua reported.

Hassan was appointed president after former president Mohamed Nasheed was forced to step down amidst protests over his decision to sack Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed.

Nasheed later claimed that he was forced to resign at gun-point and urged the international community to get involved and ensure democracy in the archipelago.

Blake, who was in the Maldives last week before travelling to Sri Lanka, said that the US welcomes the setting up of a broad coalition government in the Maldives till the next election can be held.

A sense of uncertainty has gripped the Maldives since Nasheed resigned Feb 7.

Violence broke out in the Maldives last week before and after Nasheed's resignation.

Nasheed's family was sent to Sri Lanka to seek refuge. But Nasheed told a Sri Lankan newspaper that he would remain in the Maldives and fight for democracy.