Following the military coup in Mali, the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States will today (Thursday) hold an extraordinary summit on the situation in the country.
This is coming as the ECOWAS suspended Mali and directed member countries to close their borders against the landlocked West African nation.
Recall that soldiers arrested the Malian President, Ibramin Keita; and the country’s Prime Minister on Tuesday.
The President resigned on Wednesday.
According to a statement on Wednesday by ECOWAS Commission titled, ‘Heads of State to hold Extraordinary Summit on the socio-political situation in Mali,’ the summit would hold virtually through videoconference.
It read, “The Extra-ordinary Summit was convened following the military coup d’etat in the Republic of Mali.
“ECOWAS has strongly condemned the undemocratic change of government as it is against the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.”
Earlier, ECOWAS in a statement said the military action would impact negatively on peace and stability in Mali and in the sub-region.
It reads partly, “ECOWAS Suspends Mali from all ECOWAS decision-making bodies with immediate effect, as per the Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and this, until effective reinstatement of the constitutional order;
“Decides 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, and encourages all partners to do the same.”
In the same vein, the Federal Government called for the activation of the Economic Community of West African States standby force.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this on his official Twitter handle on Wednesday.
Onyeama’s tweet read, “The Nigerian Government unequivocally condemns the coup d’état that took place in #Mali Monday and demands the immediate and unconditional restoration of constitutional order. We welcome the urgent activation of the #ECOWAS Standby force.”
Meanwhile, The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday ordered the Malian mutineers to release the country’s President, Ibrahim Keita, other detained officials and return to their barracks.
AFP reports that the 15 members of the council, in a statement released on Wednesday before a closed-door security council meeting requested by France and Niger emphasised on the urgent need to restore the rule of law and to move towards the return to constitutional order.
In a fresh development, a Malian army officer, Colonel Assimi Goita, on Wednesday announced himself as the coup leader who overthrew President Ibrahim Keita.
AFP reports that Goita announced his new position after a meeting with top civil servants on Wednesday.
He said, “Let me introduce myself, I am colonel Assimi Goita, chairman of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People.”