By Our Reporter
The overthrow of president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and his government has taken a strange twist after western African bloc the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) suspended Mali from decision making bodies with immediate effect.
ECOWAS decision followed the recent military forceful takeover of Keita’s government in that country.
Besides the suspension, the Coup plotters have been denied all kind of legitimacy by the regional body, while also demanding the immediate release of President Keita, his Prime Minister and other government officials that were detained by the army.
In a statement issued Wednesday, ECOWAS stated that the military action will impact negatively on the country’s socio-political affairs.
The regional body also closed all land and air borders, as well as announcing a halt to all economical, trade and financial flows and transactions between ECOWAS member states and Mali, and encourages all partners to do the same.
The statement reads in part thus: “Following its statement published during the day of August 18th, 2020, reporting on an on-going mutiny within the Malian Armed Forces, ECOWAS has noted with great concern the seizure of power by Malian military Putschists.”
It adds that; “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 find a solution to this crisis. Following this power grab by Malian military Putschists, this is likely to have negative impact on peace and stability in Mali and in the Sub-Region, ECOWAS.”
President Keita was overthrown on Tuesday this week following a mutiny in the army, although the military officers who commanded the coup are yet to be identified.