The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it has suspended Mali from the regional bloc following the seizure of power by military putschists and forced detention of senior officials, including the country’s president and prime minister.
In a statement made available to Xinhua on Wednesday here, the ECOWAS Commission demanded the reinstatement of constitutional order in Mali.
The West African bloc said it utterly condemns the overthrowing of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s democratically elected government by Malian military putschists, adding it will categorically deny any kind of legitimacy to the putschists.
“This seizure of power intervenes within a difficult socio-political context. Indeed, ECOWAS recalls that a mediation process has been on-going during the last two months, with a view to finding a solution to this crisis,” the statement said.
In view of the current situation, the ECOWAS has decided to close all land and air borders, as well as to stop all economical, trade, and financial flows and transactions between the ECOWAS member-states and Mali.
The regional bloc also requested the immediate activation of the ECOWAS standby force while demanding the immediate implementation of sanctions against all putschists and their partners and collaborators.
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, currently detained by soldiers in the military camp in Kati, a town close to Bamako, announced late Tuesday night his resignation and the dissolution of the National Assembly and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse’s government.
Leaders of the military coup said Wednesday they would enact a political transition and stage elections within a “reasonable time.”
For months, the opposition coalition has been organizing demonstrations to demand Keita’s resignation, accusing him of worsening the security situation in the northern part of the country and Mali’s economic recession.