Mali Coup: West African Leaders Demand Keita’s Reinstatement

West African leaders have called for the ousted President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, to be reinstated.

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) said it would send envoys to ensure the return of constitutional order.

This comes after the UN’s Security Council called for the immediate release of all government officials.

The leaders of Tuesday’s coup say elections will be held in what they describe as a reasonable time.

They have also promised to respect international agreements on fighting jihadists.

There is an increased military presence outside government ministries in the capital, Bamako, but shops and businesses have been open.

Mali, a vast country stretching into the Sahara Desert, is among the poorest in the world and has experienced several military takeovers. It is currently battling to contain a wave of jihadist attacks and ethnic violence.

Mr Keïta won a second term in elections in 2018, but since June has faced huge street protests over corruption, mismanagement of the economy and disputed legislative elections.

There has also been anger among troops about pay and the conflict with jihadists.

“We have decided to immediately send a high-level delegation in order to ensure the immediate return of constitutional order,” the 15-member Ecowas said at the end of a video summit.

“We call for the restoration of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta as president,” it said in a closing statement read by the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou.

“Mali is in a critical situation, with serious risks that a collapse of the state and institutions leads to reversals in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, with every consequence for all our community.”

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement that Mali had “descended into political chaos” with “potential tragic consequences to Mali and the sub-region”.

Culled from BBC

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