Ecowas suspends Mali after coup

The West African regional body Ecowas has suspended Mali after last week’s military coup. A delegation of several Ecowas heads of state is to go to Mali to press the coup leaders to restore democracy. The decision to suspend Mali was taken at an emergency meeting held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. “We cannot allow this country endowed with such precious democratic instruments, dating back at least two decades, to leave history by regressing,” said Alassane Ouattara, the president of Ivory Coast who is the rotating chair of Ecowas.

“It’s why Mali needs to immediately return its democratic institutions to normal,” said Mr. Ouattara. “This position is non-nnegotiable.”

The body also announced that it had put regional troops on standby, should military intervention be necessary.

The African Union had also described the coup as a “significant setback” for the country, and the move has attracted widespread international condemnation.

Mr Ouattara is expected to be in the Ecowas delegation to Mali, along with the heads of state of neighboring Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Liberia.

Meanwhile, coup leaders announced details of a new constitution in a televised statement, and pledged freedom of speech and movement.

But there was no suggestion that the previous government would be restored, as demanded by Mali’s neighbors.

The coup was led by soldiers unhappy with the way President Amadou Toumani Toure’s government had been handling a Tuareg insurgency in northern Mali.

Mr Toure, a former army officer, was due to step down next month after two terms in office.


Posted by on Apr 19 2012. Filed under African News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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